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a legal concept signifying legal norms assisting the state in exerting influence on social relations through direct immediate legal regulation.
Substantive law consolidates the forms of ownership and the legal status of property and persons, defines the order of formation and structure of state bodies, and establishes the legal status of citizens and the grounds for and limits of responsibility for violations of the law. In other words, substantive law deals with economic, property, labor, family, and other relations. The factual (material) contents of these relations form the objective basis upon which substantive law defines mutual rights and responsibilities of the participants in the relations. Substantive law is inseparably linked with procedural law. K. Marx noted that “substantive law … has its own indispensable inherent procedural forms. … One and the same spirit should inspire the procedure and the laws since the procedure is only a form of the life of the law, that is, the manifestation of its inner life” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 1, p. 158). Thus, substantive and procedural law can be regarded as legal categories expressing the dialectical unity of the two sides of legal regulation: the immediate juridical rules of procedure of social relations and the establishment of the procedural forms of legal defense of these relations.