A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations issued by government agencies. Statutes are sometimes referred to as legislation or "black letter law." As a source of law, statutes are considered primary authority (as opposed to secondary authority).
Ideally all statutes must be in harmony with the fundamental law of the land (constitutional).
This word is used in contradistinction to the common law. Statutes acquire their force from the time of their passage, however unless otherwise provided. Statutes are of several kinds; namely, Public or private. Declaratory or remedial. Temporary or perpetual. A temporary statute is one which is limited in its duration at the time of its enactment. It continues in force until the time of its limitation has expired, unless sooner repealed. A perpetual statute is one for the continuance of which there is no limited time, although it may not be expressly declared to be so. If, however, a statute which did not itself contain any limitation is to be governed by another which is temporary only, the former will also be temporary and dependent upon the existence of the latter.
Before a statute becomes law in 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 many nations statutory law is distinguished from and subordinate to constitutional law.
Famous quotes containing the word statute:
“Amidst the downward tendency and proneness of things, when every voice is raised for a new road or another statute or a subscription of stock; for an improvement in dress, or in dentistry; for a new house or a larger business; for a political party, or the division of an estate;Mwill you not tolerate one or two solitary voices in the land, speaking for thoughts and principles not marketable or perishable?”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“Now a Jew, in the dictionary, is one who is descended from the ancient tribes of Judea, or one who is regarded as descended from that tribe. Thats what it says in the dictionary; but you and I know what a Jew isOne Who Killed Our Lord.... And although there should be a statute of limitations for that crime, it seems that those who neither have the actions nor the gait of Christians, pagan or not, will bust us out, unrelenting dues, for another deuce.”
—Lenny Bruce (19251966)