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In its narrower and more common sense, pertaining to a local governmental unit, commonly a city or town. In its broader sense, pertaining to the public or governmental affairs of a state, nation, or of a people. Relating to a state or nation, particularly when considered as an entity independent of other states or nations.
adj. referring to an incorporated or chartered city or town.
LAW, MUNICIPAL. Municipal law is defined by Mr. Justice Blackstone to be "a
rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state, commanding
what is right and prohibiting what is wrong." This definition has been
criticised, and has been perhaps, justly considered imperfect. The latter
part has been thought superabundant to the first; see Mr. Christian's note;
and the first too general and indefinite, and too limited in its
signification to convey a just idea of the subject. See Law, civil. Mr.
Chitty defines municipal law to be "a rule of civil conduct, prescribed by
the supreme power in a state, commanding what shall be done or what shall
not be done." 1 Bl. Com. 44, note 6, Chitty's edit.
2. Municipal law, among the Romans, was a law made to govern a particular city or province; this term is derived from the Latin municipium, which among them signified a city which was governed by its own laws, and which had its own magistrates.
MUNICIPAL. Strictly, this word applies only to what belongs to a city. Among the Romans, cities were called municipia; these cities voluntarily joined the Roman republic in relation to their sovereignty only, retaining, their laws, their liberties, and their magistrates, who were thence called municipal magistrates. With us this word has a more extensive meaning; for example, we call municipal law, not the law of a city only, but the law of the state. 1 Bl. Com. Municipal is used in contradistinction to international; thus we say an offence against the law of nations is an international offence, but one committed against a particular state or separate community, is a municipal offence.