Jean Jacques Regis de Cambacérès (1753-1824) is best remembered for his involvement in the civil code - the Code Napoléon - introduced in France in 1804.
Although born into the aristocracy, Camabérès joined the revolutionary forces in 1789 and served as deputy to the National Convention and to the Council of Five Hundred, and was second consul under Napoleéon from 1799 to 1804. He was awarded the position of Archchancellor of the Empire in 1804, and in 1808 was made Duke of Parma. His final post was as Minister of Justice before being exiled in 1818 on the restoration of the monarchy.
Camabérès' involvement with the drawing up of a new civil code began in 1794, when his proposals were rejected. However, he was closely involved with the Code as it finally came into being in 1804.He is often credited with the decriminilization of sodomy in France, although in fact that honour belongs those who framed the 1791 Code, which was the first legal code not to outlaw same sex activity. This reputation no doubt came about due to Cambacérès' being a well-known pederast. So well-known, in fact, that his enemies often fixed upon this little "petite défaut", as it was known, more than once portraying him as an effiminate dandy in press cartoons.