(Latin derogatio ).
The partial revocation of a law, as opposed to abrogation or the total abolition of a law. This definition of derogation first introduced by the Roman jurisconsult Modestinus (XVI, 102, De verb. significatione) was soon adopted in the canonical legislation. Even yet, however, derogation in a loose sense means also abrogation, hence the common saying: Lex posterior derogat priori , i.e. a subsequent law imports the abolition of a previous one. Dispensation differs from derogation principally in the fact that the latter affects the law itself which is thereby partially revoked, while the former affects the persons bound by the law, from whose obligation some of them are in particular cases totally or partially released. Derogation is often accomplished by special clauses inserted in papal documents, e.g. Non obstantibus etc. (see RESCRIPTS ). The absence of such derogatory clauses as are always employed in papal rescripts makes them defective in form. The following rules are helpful for the interpretation of derogations:
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