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STATUTE ; an act of the legislature of a state ; a positive law. Statute is commonly applied to the acts of legislative bodies, consisting of representatives. In monarchies not having representative bodies, the acts of the sovereign are called edicts, decrees, ordinances, rescripts. Statutes are distinguished from common law. The latter owes its force to the principles of justice, to long use, and the consent of a nation ; the former to a positive command, or declaration of the supreme power. 'For me forms of the passage of bills through the English parliament and the congress of the U. States, see Parliament^ and Congress of the United States.)