Substantive Law


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Substantive Law

The part of the law that creates, defines, and regulates rights, including, for example, the law of contracts, torts, wills, and real property; the essential substance of rights under law.

Substantive law and procedural law are the two main categories within the law. Substantive law refers to the body of rules that determine the rights and obligations of individuals and collective bodies. Procedural law is the body of legal rules that govern the process for determining the rights of parties.

Substantive law refers to all categories of public and private law, including the law of contracts, real property, torts, and Criminal Law. For example, criminal law defines certain behavior as illegal and lists the elements the government must prove to convict a person of a crime. In contrast, the rights of an accused person that are guaranteed by the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are part of a body of criminal procedural law.

U.S. substantive law comes from the Common Law and from legislative statutes. Until the twentieth century, most substantive law was derived from principles found in judicial decisions. The common-law tradition built upon prior decisions and applied legal precedents to cases with similar fact situations. This tradition was essentially conservative, as the substance of law in a particular area changed little over time.

Substantive law has increased in volume and changed rapidly in the twentieth century as Congress and state legislatures have enacted statutes that displace many common-law principles. In addition, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the American Law Institute have proposed numerous model codes and laws for states to adopt. For example, these two groups drafted the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which governs commercial transactions. The UCC has been adopted in whole or substantially by all states, replacing the common law and divergent state laws as the authoritative source of substantive Commercial Law.

Cross-references

Model Acts; Uniform Acts.

substantive law

n. law which establishes principles and creates and defines rights limitations under which society is governed, as differentiated from "procedural law," which sets the rules and methods employed to obtain one's rights and, in particular, how the courts are conducted. (See: procedure)

References in periodicals archive ?
They explain the process, techniques, and forms of expression used in drafted documents, focusing on how to draft private-law documents and legislation, rather than on the details of the substantive law that the drafter must also consider.
The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, 9 divisions, 12 regions and 84 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world.
cases flowed, as they must, from the dictates of the substantive law.
The Board of Directors, the leaders of our Substantive Law Committees, and our staff have developed and approved a framework for a five-year strategic plan for the IADC called the 20/20 Vision Plan.
Civil trial law is the practice of law dealing with the litigation of civil controversies in all areas of substantive law before courts of general jurisdiction.
On those infrequent occasions when the Supreme Court of the United States has addressed limitations that the Constitution imposes on a court's power to choose the law governing resolution of issues arising in multistate litigation, the Court has never reversed a lower court's decision to apply the substantive law of another state.
theoretical basis for the application of state substantive law in a
The Senior Lawyers Committee is not a substantive law committee; it was created to provide senior lawyers with a forum and network to address the lifestyle and professional changes of great importance not only to senior lawyers but also to law firms and the legal profession.
1)--does far more: it undermines the substantive law itself.
Yes, substantive law should really prevail over adjective (procedural) law.
In Nigeria today, there is no substantive law approving Islamic banking but the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria has taken advantage of the aspect of banks and other financial institutions Act 1991 that allows the CBN to make regulations for smooth running of banking and finance in the country.
Wolff, an international business attorney, introduces the law and practice of cross-border business transactions from the perspective of private business entities and their advisors, covering the general background and specific issues of non-investment and investment-related cross-border business transactions, including substantive law issues and procedural themes and skills-related aspects.