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A clause at the beginning of a constitution or statute explaining the reasons for its enactment and the objectives it seeks to attain.

Generally a preamble is a declaration by the legislature of the reasons for the passage of the statute, and it aids in the interpretation of any ambiguities within the statute to which it is prefixed. It has been held, however, that a preamble is not an essential part of an act, and it neither enlarges nor confers powers.

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


the preliminary part of a document, legislation, a contract or a treaty, usually setting out what it is all about or why it has been prepared, specially used of an Act of Parliament where Parliament expresses the general purposes of the piece of legislation. It can be referred to for the purposes of statutory interpretation.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

PREAMBLE. A preface, an introduction or explanation of what is to follow: that clause at the head of acts of congress or other legislatures which explains the reasons why the act is made. Preambles are also frequently put in contracts to, explain the motives of the contracting parties,
     2. A preamble is said to be the key of a statute, to open the minds of the makers as to the mischiefs which are to be remedied, and the objects which are to be accomplished by the provisions of the statutes. It cannot amount, by implication, to enlarge what is expressly given. 1 Story on Const. B 3, c. 6. How far a preamble is to be considered evidence of the facts it recites, see 4 M. & S. 532; 1 Phil. Ev. 239; 2 Russ. on Cr. 720; and see, generally, Ersk. L. of Scotl. 1, 1, 18; Toull. liv. 3, n. 318; 2 Supp. to Ves. jr. 239; 4 L. R. 55; Barr. on the Stat. 353, 370.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
He explained that the adjective "north" was going to be added 50 times in the Constitution and six times only in the Preamble. Veljanoski believes that for each of these changes, the Government should have intervened with a separate amendment instead of changing Macedonia to North Macedonia with a single amendment.
The Con-com's full proposed amendment of the Preamble and National Sovereignty reads as follows:
The preamble of the constitution ensures justice, equality, freedom and fraternity to all its citizens without any discrimination.
* Reliance on the MLI Preamble: All signatories to the MLI remain subject to language in the MLI's own preamble that is, in fact, more expansive than the option language contained in Article 6(1).
When the channel stays idle, Tx-node puts a short preamble preceding a data frame.
proposed a preamble composed of two symmetrical parts and get a quite sharp timing metric without side-lobe by calculating the correlation between the symmetrical parts.
Msg3 from each mobile station is transmitted in an uplink resource which is specified in RAR for each preamble ID.
practice, it is surprising that the ubiquitous preamble has received so
In the preamble to its final regulation regarding fiduciary investment responsibilities, issued in 1979, the DOL's discussion of index funds was one example.
The preamble recognizes the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people; the importance of Jerusalem and its sacred character for Jews, Christians and Muslims; and the objective of a two-state solution.
The issue regards an ad released by the I& B Ministry, showing the Preamble of the Constitution, without the said words.
BARDO (TAP) - The National Constituent Assembly (NCA) started, on Monday in a plenary session, looking at the second chapter of the draft Constitution related to rights and liberties after the adoption in the past days of the Preamble and the general principles chapter.