dead letter


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to dead letter: Dead letter mail

dead letter

a law or ordinance that is no longer enforced but has not been formally repealed
References in periodicals archive ?
Kerry said the peace drive was based on a deal that has stayed a dead letter since it was announced in Geneva in June 2012 for the creation of a transitional government in Syria "with full executive authority by mutual consent" - ambiguous wording that deliberately left Assad's future role unclear.
Some, such as the Tenth, are a dead letter through neglect and abuse.
Communism may have turned out to be a dead letter, but the maligned domino effect is alive and well, as evidenced by the subprime mortgage disaster.
They confirm that the principle of curbing growth in social security costs, a symbol of the spending reform initiative started by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and inherited by his successors, has become a dead letter.
The document is a dead letter, says Olyyah and hundreds of home owners, due to the blockade imposed by the Israeli government which prevents the import of construction materials into the Gaza Strip.
So long as it remains inactive, the nuts and bolts of day-to-day interaction between the citizens and the state will remain at the mercy of those who abuse their positions, the hoped-for establishment of an independent commission to oversee elections will remain a fantasy, and the Constitution itself will remain a dead letter.
The quote was from The Way to the Stars (1945): "Less said the better, the bill unpaid, dead letter.
Ireland is the only state to hold a public referendum and if it gives up on the ratification process, the Lisbon Treaty would become a dead letter, unless Dublin agreed to withdraw from the EU's political processes, which is unlikely.
Why did almost the same number of letters end up in the dead letter file of the Paris post office every year?
However, the agreement has been a dead letter since Hamas in June violently ejected Palestinian Authority forces loyal to president Mahmud Abbas who were supposed to be controlling the frontier.
The cease-fire, which had initially ensured an uneasy peace, has been a dead letter for the past several months with both sides ignoring their obligations.
Such a principle would also, in effect, declare Caballes a dead letter online, since it would shift the legal focus to where investigators looked, rather than the amount of additional physical intrusion or the type of information uncovered.