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A statute is a formal written enactment of a
legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure i ...
authority that governs the legal entities of a
city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be defined as a ...

city
,
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
, or
country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

country
by way of
consent Consent occurs when one person voluntarily agrees to the proposal or desires of another. It is a term of common speech, with specific definitions as used in such fields as the law, medicine, research, and sexual relationships. Consent as under ...

consent
. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare
policy Policy is a deliberate system of guideline A guideline is a statement by which to determine a course of action. A guideline aims to streamline particular processes according to a set routine or sound practice. Guidelines may be issued by an ...
. Statutes are rules made by legislative bodies; they are distinguished from
case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it is calle ...
or
precedent A precedent is a principle or rule established in a previous legal case A legal case is in a general sense a dispute between opposing parties which may be resolved by a court, or by some equivalent legal process. A legal case is typically based ...
, which is decided by
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Sta ...

court
s, and
regulations Regulation is the management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In systems theory Systems theory is the interdisciplinary study of system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that a ...
issued by
government agencies A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an Administration ...
.


Publication and organization

In virtually all countries, newly enacted statutes are published and distributed so that everyone can look up the statutory law. This can be done in the form of a
government gazette A government gazette (also known as an official gazette, official journal, official newspaper, official monitor or official bulletin) is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a ca ...
which may include other kinds of legal notices released by the government, or in the form of a series of books whose content is limited to legislative acts. In either form, statutes are traditionally published in chronological order based on date of enactment. A universal problem encountered by lawmakers throughout human history is how to organize published statutes. Such publications have a habit of starting small but growing rapidly over time, as new statutes are enacted in response to the exigencies of the moment. Eventually, persons trying to find the law are forced to sort through an enormous number of statutes enacted at various points in time to determine which portions are still in effect. The solution adopted in many countries is to organize existing statutory law in topical arrangements (or "codified") within publications called
codes In communications and information processing, code is a system of rules to convert information—such as a letter (alphabet), letter, word, sound, image, or gesture—into another form, sometimes data compression, shortened or secrecy, secret, f ...
, then ensure that new statutes are consistently drafted so that they add, amend, repeal or move various code sections. In turn, in theory, the code will thenceforth reflect the current cumulative state of the statutory law in that jurisdiction. In many nations
statutory law Statutory law or statute law is written law passed by a body of legislature. This is as opposed to Oral law, oral or customary law; or regulatory law promulgated by the Executive (government), executive or common law of the judiciary. Statutes may ...
is distinguished from and subordinate to
constitutional law Constitutional law is a body of law which defines the role, powers, and structure of different entities within a , namely, the , the or , and the ; as well as the basic rights of citizens and, in federal countries and , the relationship between ...
.


Alternative meanings


International law

The term statute is also used to refer to an International
treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relat ...

treaty
that establishes an
institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent more than half a century at Harvard University Har ...
, such as the Statute of the
European Central Bank The European Central Bank (ECB) is the prime component of the Eurosystem The Eurosystem is the monetary authority In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financia ...

European Central Bank
, a protocol to the international courts as well, such as the Statute of the
International Court of Justice The International Court of Justice (ICJ; french: Cour internationale de justice, links=no; ), sometimes known as the World Court, is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmenta ...

International Court of Justice
and the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
. Statute is also another word for law. The term was adapted from England in about the 18th century.


Autonomy statute

In the
autonomous communities of Spain In Spain, an autonomous community ( es, comunidad autónoma) is a first-level political divisions of Spain, political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Spanish constitution of 1978, with the ...

autonomous communities of Spain
, an autonomy statute is a legal document similar to the constitution of a
federated state A federated state (which may also be referred to as a state, a , a region, a , a , a , an , an or a ) is a territorial and al community forming part of a . Such states differ from fully s, in that they do not have full sovereign powers, as th ...
, save that it is enacted by the national legislature, rather than the autonomous community it governs. The autonomy statutes in Spain have the rank of ''ley orgánica'' (organic law), a category of special legislation reserved only for the main institutions and issues and mentioned in the constitution (the highest ranking legal instrument in Spain). ''Leyes orgánicas'' rank between the constitution and ordinary laws. The name was chosen, among others, to avoid confusion with the term ''constitution'' (i.e. the Spanish constitution of 1978).


Religious statutes


Biblical terminology

In biblical terminology, statute (Hebrew ''choq'') refers to a law given without any reason or justification. The classic example is the statute regarding the
Red Heifer #REDIRECT Red heifer#REDIRECT Red heifer The red heifer ( he, פָּרָה אֲדֻמָּה; ''para adumma'') (female bovine which is never pregnant or milked or yoked), also known as the red cow, was a cow brought to the priests as a sacrifice ac ...
.(Numbers 19:2) The opposite of a chok is a ''mishpat'', a law given for a specified reason, e.g. the
Sabbath In Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic people, Semitic-originated religions that claim descent from the Judaism of the ancient Isra ...

Sabbath
laws, which were given because "God created the world in six days, but on the seventh day He rested" (
Genesis Genesis may refer to: Literature and comics * Genesis (DC Comics), a 1997 DC Comics crossover * Genesis (Marvel Comics), a Marvel Comics villain * Genesis, a fictional character from the ''Preacher (comics), Preacher'' comic-book series * ''Genes ...

Genesis
2:2-3).


Dharma

''That which upholds, supports or maintains '' meaning the ''Law'' or ''Natural Law''. This is a concept of central importance in
Indian philosophy Indian philosophy refers to philosophical traditions of the Indian subcontinent. A traditional Hindu classification divides āstika and nāstika schools of philosophy, depending on one of three alternate criteria: whether it believes the Ved ...
and
religion Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Different religions may or may not contain v ...
.


See also

*
Constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

Constitution
*
Legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating Promulgation is the formal proclamation or the declaration that a new statute, statutory or administrative law is enacted after its final Enactment of a bill, appro ...
*
Legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
*
Organic statute An organic law is a law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is des ...
*
Statutory law Statutory law or statute law is written law passed by a body of legislature. This is as opposed to Oral law, oral or customary law; or regulatory law promulgated by the Executive (government), executive or common law of the judiciary. Statutes may ...
* Super statute


References


External links

{{Authority control Legal research Sources of law Statutory law no:Statutt