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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
statute book
▪ The government would like to see this new law on the statute book as soon as possible.
statute law
statute of limitations
▪ Franklin argued that he never violated any criminal statutes.
▪ The report also examined criminal statutes governing domestic violence in all 50 states.
▪ Such conduct would violate a federal extortion statute.
▪ Nearly a thousand federal statutes use the term spouse or marriage.
▪ Interception of cell phone calls has been a criminal act since 1986, when those devices were included in federal wiretap statutes.
▪ The governor had not requested federal aid and, in their view, no federal statute had been violated.
▪ At issue is whether domestic partners benefits are covered by the federal statute.
▪ The Ministry of Railways and the national monopolies commission will draw up revised conditions of carriage to reflect the new statute.
▪ They imposed a new, six-month statute of limitations, which few people, fired, without a job, could meet.
▪ The new statutes could only be changed by a two-thirds majority vote of the new Congress.
▪ The New Jersey statute is not such a quarantine law.
▪ This led the Committee to propose two separate new statutes.
▪ The new statute will stop trade unionists trying to persuade workers in unconnected companies to take sympathy action.
▪ While pledging themselves publicly to legislation, they worked privately to block many of the attempts to secure new acts and statutes.
▪ The new statute had set out the management arrangements governing the institutions which the county authority had taken over.
▪ Whether it is so or not is a question of construction of the particular statute concerned.
▪ The court must first determine whether the particular statute gave rise to the right to sue for damages.
▪ Why is a particular statute regarded as valid?
▪ Thus, the general principle is that one must look to the particular taxing statute.
▪ The second relevant statute concerns guardianship under the Mental Health Act 1983.
▪ First, it was unsuccessful on the correct interpretation of the relevant statute, the Police Act 1964.
▪ The relevant statute empowered the council to pay such wages as it thought fit.
▪ But what happens if there are two Acts on the statute books which conflict with one another?
▪ Most work at uninspiring tasks, pore over old court decisions and statute books, and draft memos for their higher-ups.
▪ The hon. Gentleman said that I had said that we would keep internment on the statute book.
▪ The southern states now relied on tightening enforcement measures already on the statute books and increasing the alertness of the patrols.
▪ I repeat what I have said before: internment has been retained on the statute book.
▪ Governments will then be hard put to get it on to their national statute books by mid-1993.
▪ The fact remains that internment is on the statute book and is available to the Government to use.
▪ The legislation went on to the statute book in July 1986 and the new system was finally introduced in April 1988.
▪ But what happens if there are two Acts on the statute books which conflict with one another?
▪ Most work at uninspiring tasks, pore over old court decisions and statute books, and draft memos for their higher-ups.
▪ Governments will then be hard put to get it on to their national statute books by mid-1993.
▪ The southern states now relied on tightening enforcement measures already on the statute books and increasing the alertness of the patrols.
▪ Opposition by those in favour of the availability of abortion, however, meant that few such measures had progressed to the statute books.
▪ The society was founded in 1966 when David Steel's abortion Bill was moving fast towards the statute books.
▪ The Bill will get Royal Assent later this year when it will officially go on to the statute books.
▪ Although remaining on the statute books, Nemery's version had not been applied since 1985.
▪ Consequently, case and statute law was made which prevented distribution of capital invested.
▪ The principle applies not only to taxing statutes but all forms of statute law.
▪ If statute laws were printed like newspapers, these would be tabloid, not quality laws.
▪ Despite the recent advent of statute law in this area, there remains no statutory definition of what constitutes insider trading.
▪ No formal, authoritative documents set forth these rules, and they find no embodiment in statute law.
▪ But in the field of statute law the judge must be obedient to the will of Parliament as expressed in its enactments.
▪ Judicial interpretation of statute law can be overridden by a new act of Parliament.
▪ Unpalatable statute law may not be disregarded or rejected, merely because it is unpalatable.
▪ Each state statute that mandates reporting of child abuse or neglect specifies the procedures reporters are required to follow.
▪ In applying these general rules, the courts look at each individual case in light of whatever state statute may apply.
▪ Many state statutes provide for an award of attorney fees to the prevailing party.
States have the responsibility for ensuring teacher competence, and state statutes generally set out standards for teacher certification.
▪ The House held that the discretion, being a discretion conferred by statute, must be exercised in accordance with the statutory intention.
▪ One is that courts are concerned only with the power to enact statutes, not with their wisdom.
▪ In respect of children born since 1976 the position is governed by statute.
▪ Although an area of negligence, liability is governed by statute, the Occupiers' Liability Acts 1957 and 1984.
▪ The judges then must decide how to interpret the statute and by so doing they define its meaning.
▪ The manner of enforcement was laid down by the statute.
▪ The unusual, possibly unique, method of election was laid down in the statutes by John Dakyn.
▪ Some years were to pass before statutes could only be made in parliament.
▪ Under recently passed statutes, teachers now also have a duty to report child abuse and neglect.
▪ It does not need research to show that no such sweeping condemnation can be passed upon the statute before us.
▪ No remedy was provided by the statute for enforcement.
▪ We plead with the House to allow the Bill to take its course and reach the statute book.
▪ I hope that the provisions will reach the statute book quickly.
▪ However, a careful reading of the statutes indicates no distinction between insurrections in a state and insurrections of a state.
▪ Other members of the Court affirm on the basis of their reading of certain statutes.
▪ They were required by statute to keep their pipes at a certain pressure level.
▪ It applies, for instance, to a local authority which is required by statute to receive sewage into its sewers.
▪ Children's services were the responsibility of one department, required by statute.
▪ In 1357 he is required by statute to entrust the administration of the property to the near relations of the deceased.
on the statute book
▪ Some of those old laws are still on the statute book.
▪ I repeat what I have said before: internment has been retained on the statute book.
▪ It is clear that the Government are determined that the Bill will be on the statute book before the general election.
▪ The Act enshrines principles social workers fought hard to get on the statute book.
▪ The fact remains that internment is on the statute book and is available to the Government to use.
▪ The hon. Gentleman said that I had said that we would keep internment on the statute book.
▪ The number of laws on the statute book increases cumulatively since governments repeal relatively few laws.
▪ In New Mexico, a state statute permits one minute of silent prayer at the beginning of school.
▪ Unfortunately his lawyer could find no statute or point of law preventing his client's imprisonment.
▪ university statutes
▪ But the death penalty is kept off the statute books by the one unanswerable and non-politically partisan argument against it.
▪ Indeed, the Texas statute struck down today was, as the majority notes, first enacted in 1857....
▪ Most work at uninspiring tasks, pore over old court decisions and statute books, and draft memos for their higher-ups.
▪ The statute confines itself to prohibiting the carriage of certain goods in interstate or foreign commerce.
▪ The Foreign Compensation Commission was empowered by statute to deal with claims to compensation under agreements with foreign governments.
▪ These guidelines are included in the official comments on the statutes and list a number of specific exceptions for teachers.
▪ This statute originated the office of administrator.
▪ Whether it is so or not is a question of construction of the particular statute concerned.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Statute \Stat"ute\ (-[-u]t), n. [F. statut, LL. statutum, from L. statutus, p. p. of statuere to set, station, ordain, fr. status position, station, fr. stare, statum, to stand. See Stand, and cf. Constitute, Destitute.]

  1. An act of the legislature of a state or country, declaring, commanding, or prohibiting something; a positive law; the written will of the legislature expressed with all the requisite forms of legislation; -- used in distinction from common law. See Common law, under Common, a.

    Note: Statute is commonly applied to the acts of a legislative body consisting of representatives. In monarchies, the laws of the sovereign are called edicts, decrees, ordinances, rescripts, etc. In works on international law and in the Roman law, the term is used as embracing all laws imposed by competent authority. Statutes in this sense are divided into statutes real, statutes personal, and statutes mixed; statutes real applying to immovables; statutes personal to movables; and statutes mixed to both classes of property.

  2. An act of a corporation or of its founder, intended as a permanent rule or law; as, the statutes of a university.

  3. An assemblage of farming servants (held possibly by statute) for the purpose of being hired; -- called also statute fair. [Eng.] Cf. 3d Mop, 2.

    Statute book, a record of laws or legislative acts.

    Statute cap, a kind of woolen cap; -- so called because enjoined to be worn by a statute, dated in 1571, in behalf of the trade of cappers. [Obs.]

    Statute fair. See Statute, n., 3, above.

    Statute labor, a definite amount of labor required for the public service in making roads, bridges, etc., as in certain English colonies.

    Statute merchant (Eng. Law), a bond of record pursuant to the stat. 13 Edw. I., acknowledged in form prescribed, on which, if not paid at the day, an execution might be awarded against the body, lands, and goods of the debtor, and the obligee might hold the lands until out of the rents and profits of them the debt was satisfied; -- called also a pocket judgment. It is now fallen into disuse.

    Statute mile. See under Mile.

    Statute of limitations (Law), a statute assigning a certain time, after which rights can not be enforced by action.

    Statute staple, a bond of record acknowledged before the mayor of the staple, by virtue of which the creditor may, on nonpayment, forthwith have execution against the body, lands, and goods of the debtor, as in the statute merchant. It is now disused.

    Syn: Act; regulation; edict; decree. See Law.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 13c., from Old French statut, estatut "(royal) promulgation, (legal) statute," from Late Latin statutum "a law, decree," noun use of neuter past participle of Latin statuere "enact, establish," from status "condition, position" (see status).


n. 1 Written law, as laid down by the legislature. 2 (context legal English) (Common law) Legislated rule of society which has been given the force of law by those it governs.


adj. enacted by a legislative body; "statute law"; "codified written laws" [syn: codified, statute(p)]


n. an act passed by a legislative body [syn: legislative act]


A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city or country. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. Statutes are laws made by legislative bodies and distinguished from common law, which is decided by courts, and regulations issued by government agencies. As a source of law, statutes are considered primary authority (as opposed to secondary authority). A statute begins as a bill proposed or sponsored by a legislator. If the bill survives the legislative committee process and is approved by both houses of the legislature, the bill becomes law when it is signed by the executive officer (the president on the federal level or the governor on the state level).

Ideally all statutes must be in harmony with constitutional law or the fundamental law of the land.

This word is used in contradistinction to the common law. Statutes acquire their force from the time of their passage, unless otherwise provided. Statutes are of several kinds, namely: public or private, declaratory or remedial, and 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. In virtually all countries, newly enacted statutes are published in some kind of journal, gazette, or chronological compilation, which is then distributed so that everyone can look up the statutory law. A universal problem encountered by lawmakers throughout human history is that such chronological publications have a habit of starting small and growing rapidly over time as new statutes are enacted in response to the exigencies of the moment. Eventually persons trying to find the law are forced to sort through an enormous number of statutes that were enacted at vastly different points in time to determine which portions are still in effect.

The solution to this adopted in many countries was to organize existing statutory law in topical arrangements (or "codified") within publications called codes, such as the United States Code, then ensure that new statutes are consistently drafted so that they add, amend, repeal or move various code sections. In turn, in theory, the code will thenceforth reflect the current cumulative state of the statutory law in that jurisdiction. In many nations statutory law is distinguished from and subordinate to constitutional law.

Usage examples of "statute".

West Virginia statute whereby that State sought to require that a preference be accorded local consumers of gas produced within the State.

The question presented was whether a judgment rendered by a New York court under a statute which provided that, when joint debtors were sued and one of them was brought into court on a process, a judgment in favor of the plaintiff would entitle him to execute against all, and so must be accorded full faith and credit in Louisiana when offered as the basis of an action in debt against a resident of that State who had not been served by process in the New York action.

Subsequently, the Supreme Court has held that the rights created under this statute cannot be defeated by forms of local practice and that it is the duty of the Supreme Court to construe allegations in a complaint asserting a right under the liability act in order to determine whether a State court has denied a right of trial guaranteed by Congress.

Statutes and ordinances providing for the paving and grading of streets, the cost thereof to be assessed on the front foot rule, do not, by their failure to provide for a hearing or review of assessments, generally deprive a complaining owner of property without due process of law.

The really perilous course lies in preserving the status quo and institutionalizing our past failed policies: open borders, unlimited immigration, dependence on cheap and illegal labor, obsequious deference to Mexico City, erosion of legal statutes, multiculturalism in our schools, and a general breakdown in the old assimilationist model.

Madison, in the case both of appointees by the President and Senate and by the President alone, a purely ministerial act which has been lodged by statute with the Secretary of State and the performance of which may be compelled by mandamus unless the appointee has been in the meantime validly removed.

But without approving the extreme doctrine which General Jackson announced with the applause of his party, it is surely not an unreasonable assumption that in the case of a statute which has had no judicial interpretation and whose meaning is not altogether clear, the President is not to be impeached for acting upon his own understanding of its scope and intent:--especially is he not to be impeached when he offers to prove that he was sustained in his opinion by every member of his Cabinet, and offers further to prove by the same honorable witnesses that he took the step in order to subject the statute in dispute to judicial interpretation.

Later cases were to settle further that the enactment of a national bankruptcy law does not invalidate State laws in conflict therewith but serves only to relegate them to a state of suspended animation with the result that upon repeal of the national statute they again come into operation without reenactment.

And though all these grievances had been already redressed, and even laws enacted for future security against their return, the praise of these advantages was ascribed, not to the king, but to the parliament, who had extorted his consent to such salutary statutes.

When and if this day arrives, State statutes and judicial decisions will be given such extraterritorial operation as seems reasonable to the Court to give them.

However, a statute designating a State official as the proper person to receive service of process in such litigation must, to be valid, contain a provision making it reasonably probable that a notice of such service will be communicated to the person sued.

It seems to me very important that the statute laws should be made as plain and intelligible as possible, and be reduced to as small a compass as may consist with the fullness and precision of the will of the Legislature and the perspicuity of its language.

Specifically, the Court in the Senn Case gave its approval to the application of a Wisconsin statute which authorized the giving of publicity to labor disputes, declared peaceful picketing and patrolling lawful, and prohibited the granting of injunctions against such conduct to a controversy in which the matter at issue was the refusal of a tiling contractor employing nonunion workmen to sign a closed shop agreement unless a provision requiring him to abstain from working in his business as a tile layer or helper should be eliminated.

On the other hand, statutes providing that restrictions upon the production or marketing of agricultural commodities shall become operative only upon a favorable vote by a prescribed majority of the persons affected have been upheld.

A taxing statute does not fail of the prescribed uniformity because its operation and incidence may be affected by differences in State laws.