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A provision in a statute, rule of procedure, or the like, that is a mere direction or instruction of no obligatory force and involves no invalidating consequence for its disregard, as opposed to an imperative or mandatory provision, which must be followed. The general rule is that the prescriptions of a statute relating to the performance of a public duty are so far directory that, though neglect of them may be punishable, it does not affect the validity of the acts done under them, as in the case of a statute requiring an officer to prepare and deliver a document to another officer on or before a certain day.

Generally, statutory provisions that do not relate to the essence of a thing to be done, and as to which compliance is a matter of convenience rather than of substance, are directory, while provisions that relate to the essence of a thing to be done, that is, matters of substance, are mandatory.


noun catalogue, guidebook, handbook, index, manual, reference book, reference work
See also: roll

DIRECTORY. That which points out a thing or course of proceeding; for example, a directory law.

References in periodicals archive ?
Zoomit's metadirectory, extended by Microsoft to manage identity data kept outside the directories, will simplify enterprise identity management and more easily blend in with existing business processes, Microsoft claims.
The LogicLibrary-Groove alliance will help make that possible," said Brad Smith, senior consultant with Internosis, an award-winning Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Microsoft Metadirectory Services Partner.
These management tools are heterogeneous and based on legacy systems, resulting in a limited metadirectory that cannot define flexible business policies and is not usable beyond access management.
Metamerge specializes in directory integration software, including metadirectory tools, and is a key enabler for IBM security products.
Security is a key concern for our customers, and often requires extensions to directory and metadirectory function.
Burton is credited with developing the first network-based email messaging system that was both application and hardware independent (NetWare Message Handling Services), as well as the creation of such breakthrough concepts as The Internet Services Model, Universal NetWare Architecture, file server technology, metadirectory, and fault tolerance, among others.
RLI), a developer of software solutions for directories, and Business Layers, a provider of e-business infrastructure software, today announced a partnership that combines RLI's RadiantOne Context & Coordination Server (CCS) metadirectory solution with Business Layers' eProvision Day One software.