A statute is a formal written enactment of a
legislativeauthority that governs a country, state, city, or county. cite book
last = Black
first = Henry Campbell
title = Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition
date = 1990
isbn =0-314-76271-x ] Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish
lawmade by legislative bodies from the judicial decisions of the common lawand the regulationsissued by Government agencies. Statutes are sometimes referred to as legislationor " black letter law". As a source of law, statutes are considered primary authority(as opposed to secondary authority).
Before a statute becomes
lawin some countries, it must be agreed upon by the highest executive in the government, and finally published as part of a code. In many countries, statutes are organized in topical arrangements (or "codified") within publications called codes, such as the United States Code. In the United States, statutory lawis distinguished from and subordinate to constitutional law.
The term statute is sometimes also used to refer to an International
treatythat establishes an institution, such as the Statute of the European Central Bank, a protocol to the Treaty of Maastricht. This includes international courts as well, such as the Statute of the International Court of Justiceand the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Statute is also another word for law. The term was adapted from England in about the 18th century.
In biblical terminology, a Statute (Hebrew "chok") refers to a law given without a reason. The classic example is the Statute regarding the
Red Heifer, the reason for which, legend has it, defied even the wisdom of King Solomon.Fact|date Aug 2008|date=August 2008
The opposite of a chok is a "mishpat", a law given for a specified reason, e.g. the Sabbath laws, which were given because "God created the world in six days, but on the seventh day He rested". (
Autonomous Communities of Spainthe Autonomy Statute is a legal document similar in all but name to a state constitution in a federal state. The name was chosen because federalism was a taboo subject when the constitution of 1978 was approved.
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