act

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Act

Something done; usually, something done intentionally or voluntarily or with a purpose.

The term encompasses not only physical acts—such as turning on the water or purchasing a gun—but also refers to more intangible acts such as adopting a decree, edict, law, judgment, award, or determination. An act may be a private act, done by an individual managing his or her personal affairs, or it may be a public act, done by an official, a council, or a court. When a bill is favorably acted upon in the process of legislation, it becomes an act.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

act

1) n. in general, any action by a person. 2) n. a statutory plan passed by Congress or any legislature which is a "bill" until enacted and becomes law. 3) v. for a court to make a decision and rule on a motion or petition, as in "the court will act on your motion for a new trial."

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

act

1 the formally codified result ofdeliberation by a legislative body; a law, edict, decree, statute, etc. See ACT OF PARLIAMENT.
2 a formal written record of transactions, proceedings, etc., as of a society, committee or legislative body.
3 in Scottish practice an indication of the lawyer who represents the pursuer.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

ACT, civil law, contracts. A writing which states in a legal form that a thing has been said, done, or agreed. In Latin, Instrumentum. Merl. Rep.

ACT. In the legal sense, this word may be used to signify the result of a public deliberation, the decision of a prince, of a legislative body, of a council, court of justice, or a magistrate. Also, a decree, edict, law, judgment, resolve, award, determination. Also, an instrument in writing to verify facts, as act of assembly, act of congress, act of parliament, act and deed. See Webster's Dict. Acts are civil or criminal, lawful or unlawful, public or private.
    2. Public acts, usually denominated authentic, are those which have a public authority, and which have been made before public officers, are authorized by a public seal, have been made public by the authority of a magistrate, or which have been extracted and been properly authenticated from public records.
    3. Acts under private signature are those which have been made by private individuals, under their hands. An act of this kind does not acquire the force of an authentic act, by being registered in the office of a notary. 5 N. S. 693; 8 N. S. 568 ; 3 L. R. 419 ; 8 N. S. 396 ; 11 M. R. 243; unless it has been properly acknowledged before the officer, by the parties to it. 5 N. S. 196.
     4. Private acts are those made by private persons, as registers in relation to their receipts and expenditures, schedules, acquittances, and the like. Nov. 73, c. 2 ; Code, lib. 7, tit. 32, 1. 6; lib. 4, t. 21; Dig. lib. 22, tit.. 4; Civ. Code of Louis. art. 2231 to 2254; Toull. Dr. Civ. Francais, tom. 8, p. 94.

ACT, evidence. The act of one of several conspirators, performed in pursuance of the common design, is evidence against all of them. An overt act of treason must be proved by two witnesses. See Overt.
     2. The terra. acts, includes written correspondence, and other papers relative to the design of the parties, but whether it includes unpublished writings upon abstract questions, though of a kindred nature, has been doubted, Foster's Rep. 198 ; 2 Stark. R. 116, 141.
     3. In cases of partnership it is a rule that the act or declaration of either partner, in furtherance of the common object of the association, is the act of all. 1 Pet. R. 371 5 B. & Ald. 267.
     4. And the acts. of an agent, in pursuance of his authority, will be binding on his principal. Greenl. Ev. Sec. 113.

ACT, legislation. A statute or law made by a legislative body; as an act of congress is a law by the congress of the United States; an act of assembly is a law made by a legislative assembly. If an act of assembly expire or be repealed while a proceeding under it is in fieri or pending, the proceeding becomes abortive; as a prosecution for an offence, 7 Wheat. 552; or a proceeding under insolvent laws. 1 Bl. R. 451; Burr. 1456 ; 6 Cranch, 208 ; 9 Serg. & Rawle, 283.
     2. Acts are general or special; public or private. A general or public act is a universal rule which binds the whole community; of which the courts are bound to take notice ex officio.
     3. Explanatory acts should not be enlarged by equity Blood's case, Comb. 410; although such acts may be allowed to have a retrospective operation. Dupin, Notions de Droit, 145. 9.
     4. Private or special acts are rather exceptions, than rules; being those which operate only upon particular persons and private concerns; of these the courts are not bound to take notice, unless they are pleaded. Com. 85, 6; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 105.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Schedule 1 of the 1998 Data Protection Act outlines the data protection principles, which include that "Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes" and that "appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data" (Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament, 1998, Schedule 1, Part 1).
The act is clear about who dictates the delivery of content to the deposit libraries: "where a work is published or made available to the public in different formats, (to) provide for the format in which any copy is to be delivered to be determined in accordance with requirements specified (generally or in a particular case) by the deposit libraries or any of them" (Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament, 2003b, Section 6).
The Queen approves Acts of Parliament from Westminster and now also from the Assembly to make them law.
The Future Of The Monarchy, drawn up after a year-long inquiry by an independent ten-member commission, called for two Acts of Parliament to implement its central proposals.
The commission recommended two Acts of Parliament to implement its central proposals -a Succession Act, replacing the Act of Settlement 1701, and a Constitution Act, defining the scope of the powers of the head of state.
[bar] SIR - To head the list of Acts of Parliament that I would like Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to repeal, I would not hesitate to nominate the Act known as the Statute of Wales, 1536.
The laws and Acts of Parliament that he promoted in the areas of divorce and homosexuality have done more to undermine the structure and stability of family life in Britain.
These pieces of legislation and their subsequent Acts of Parliament run totally contrary to the word of God as we have received it through Jesus Christ and the Holy Scriptures.
Drawn up after a year-long inquiry by an independent 10-member commission, it called for two Acts of Parliament to implement its central proposals.
If Acts of Parliaments were written correctly then they could be hundreds of years old and still be relevant by virtue of secondary legislation applying the provisions in the current age.