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The law of Belgium (Dutch: Belgisch recht; French: Droit belge) is very similar to that of neighbouring France, with Belgium having adopted the Napoleonic code which governs French society. Belgian law also derives from the Constitution of Belgium and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Due to state reforms in Belgium, the country transformed from a unitary to a federal state. Consequently, in addition to the federal level, the communities and regions have legislative authority in certain matters. Federal legislation is called a "law" (wet, loi) whereas regional legislation is called "decree" (decreet, décret), except for that of the Brussels-Capital Region which is called "ordinance" (ordonnantie, ordonnance).
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