Policy makers, judges, citizens all deplore the increasing complexity of law. Codification is traditionally one of the best ways to sustain the dynamic and necessary evolution of laws. In this paper we analyze the French environmental code (2000) to understand how the drafters have organized the previous laws scattered in various fields of law into the structure of a hierarchical table of contents. Relying on graph representation, we observe this architecture through the various levels of its organization and connections with other legal corpuses. Among the lot of information that this representation brings, we will note the new function of the article of law in the pyramid of laws. The article is no more one axiom, one rule as in the Civil Code (1804): it becomes an articulation between both an upper and a lower (intra-article) hierarchy, embedded in a network of links. So doing we also find some invariant distributions – like the Pareto-Zipf one – that shape various statistical distributions of the vertices and edges of the legal graph. We will conclude by proposing new comparative perspectives between legal sources and between Codes.
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