(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:
- Apart from special cases, derogations are to be strictly interpreted, any correction of the law being regularly of an odious nature.
- A simple derogation, that imposes no obligation contrary to that of the existing law, does not require a formal promulgation.
- No clause expressly derogatory of the existing law is requisite in making derogations from any kind of general ecclesiastical laws; exception is made only when it is proposed to derogate from the rules of the Apostolic Chancery.
- Derogations couched in general terms are not upheld; they must be made in specific and formal terms.
- The rule of law that a special enactment is derogatory of the previous general one ( Generi derogatur per speciem ; Reg. 34 in VI) means that a particular law which is a derogation of a general one must always produce its derogatory effect, it being immaterial whether it was issued before the general law or after it. In the latter case the special law is maintained as it was intentionally made by the competent superior; nor in the former instance does it lose its value, because the superior had no intention of abolishing it by a subsequent general law, it being a presumption that superiors are not cognizant of particular laws or customs. (see CUSTOM; LAW).
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online