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in law, a formal, written enactment by the authorized powers of a state. The term is usually not applied to a written constitutionconstitution,
fundamental principles of government in a nation, either implied in its laws, institutions, and customs, or embodied in one fundamental document or in several.
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 but is restricted to the enactments of a legislature. Statute law is to be distinguished chiefly from common lawcommon law,
system of law that prevails in England and in countries colonized by England. The name is derived from the medieval theory that the law administered by the king's courts represented the common custom of the realm, as opposed to the custom of local jurisdiction that
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, which may be defined as the body of legal rules derived from judicial decisions and custom. On most of the European continent all (or nearly all) the law is statutory and each field is subsumed by a codecode,
in law, in its widest sense any body of legal rules expressed in fixed and authoritative written form. A statute thus may be termed a code. Codes contrast with customary law (including common law), which is susceptible of various nonbinding formulations, as in the legal
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. In England and the United States, however, common law retains great importance, but with the expansion of government regulation there has been an immense growth in the statute law of those countries. In order to guide the courts many important statutes contain (usually in a preamble) a statement of the abuses that the legislation is intended to cure or of the general legislative intent. Statutes are classified in various ways. Public statutes (e.g., those establishing crimes) are universal in application, while private statutes (e.g., one compensating a named person for injury) are limited. Public statutes may be local, i.e., affecting only part of the area over which the legislature has authority, or general. Statutes that explain or clarify previous enactments or rules of common law are sometimes called declaratory statutes.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(polozhenie), in Soviet law, a normative act that summarizes, codifies, and defines the structure, functions, and competence of a state agency or system of agencies, for example, the Statute on the Supreme Court of the USSR and the General Statute on Ministries of the USSR. Statutes also regulate operational procedures of state agencies and organizations in certain cases—for example, the Statute on the Conduct of Cash Transactions by State, Cooperative, and Public Enterprises, Organizations, and Institutions—as well as all organizational, property, and labor relations pertaining to a specific question, for example, the Statute on Discoveries, Inventions, and Rationalization Proposals.



(1) A provision or regulation that defines the procedures of an organization and the functions of individual national and international organizations, such as the statute of the International Court of Justice (1945).

(2)Regulations that set the legal provisions of such medieval institutions as craft guilds. Valuable historical sources, guild statutes (or charters) consisted of rules based on common law that regulated the activities of guilds.

(3)Any legal regulation, for example, a statute on orders, which defines the procedures for awarding a given order, as well as the order’s description.

(4)Certain legislative acts of Great Britain’s Parliament, such as the Statute of Westminster of 1931, and of the United States Congress.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a. an enactment of a legislative body expressed in a formal document
b. this document
2. a permanent rule made by a body or institution for the government of its internal affairs
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Next, this Part argues that the majority's decision is inconsistent with the purpose of Missouri's wrongful death statute.
2006) (however, such a definitive statement that wrongful death is not a common law right of action is at odds with LaFage, 766 A.2d at 1077 (holding that New Jersey's wrongful death statute is a codification of the common law)); Chavez v.
(109) The wrongful death statute requires that before an appropriate individual can sue for wrongful death, the death of a person must result from the defendant's negligence.
The final DOHSA in 1920 included the last-minute Mann Amendment, which struck out language expressly limiting state wrongful death statutes to "causes of action accruing within the territorial limits of any [s]tate." (25) The Mann Amendment was intended to allow survivors of high seas decedents to elect between DOHSA and state wrongful death laws.
The court went on to hold that loss of chance was actionable under the wrongful death statute. (337) Although the legislature enacted the statute and imposed liability on anyone who "by his negligence causes the death of a person," the court held that loss of chance injury was "akin" to death.
There is palpable discord between abortion rights, on the one hand, and fetal murder and wrongful death statutes, which both cite the fetus as a "person," on the other.
Therefore, the only impediment to suit is the admittedly daunting challenge of finding a court sufficiently sympathetic to read the wrongful death statute expansively.
Montowese Health and Rehabilitation, (26) a trial court in Connecticut held that loss of chance must be brought under the state's wrongful death statute as an alternative theory of recovery and not as a separate common law cause of action.
The court noted that the same state senator sponsored both the state's wrongful death statute and vehicular homicide statute, and that the legislature passed both measures during a single legislative session.
The families filed separate petitions for damages under the wrongful death statute, Missouri Revised Statutes Section 537.080.
For example, many courts have premised the cause of action on the rationales that (1) a viable unborn child is a "person" or "minor child" under their state's wrongful death statute (sometimes referencing other statutes in reaching the decision); (2) because the child could have maintained an action for prenatal injuries had he or she lived, an injustice would result if birth was used as a demarcation; (3) medical technology has advanced considerably so that learned men and women cannot fairly subscribe to the belief that the child and mother are one, or a "single entity"; and (4) in theory, a tortfeasor could face less civil liability if more harm was inflicted on a pregnant woman.
588, 592-94 (1958) (holding that the wrongful death statute of the state of New Jersey governed both the standard of care and the remedies available in wrongful death actions occurring within state territorial waters).