The code is the fundamental charter of the national Orders and the Military Medal.
Established in 1962 according to the wish of General de Gaulle, the code combines earlier texts into a single document.
It defines a doctrine and general principles of operation. It was completed in 1963 with the creation of the National Order of Merit.
The code also defines the tasks of the various administrative components of the Grand Chancery and the activities it encompasses.
The National Medal of Recognition for victims of terrorism is governed by the presidential decree of 12 July 2016 and, as concerns posthumous awards and disciplinary cases, by the Code of the Legion of Honor.