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Vacatio legis


Vacatio legis

This article is part of the series:
Legislation and Legal System of the Catholic Church

Vacatio legis (Latin: absence of law) is a technical term in both Catholic canon law[1] and civil law which refers to the period between the promulgation of a law and the time the law takes legal effect.[2]

Canon law

In the canon law of the Latin Church, the vacatio legis is three months for universal laws,[3] and one month for particular laws,[4] unless the law itself establishes a longer or shorter period of time.[5][6]

Civil law

In civil law, vacatio legis "indicates a condition of non-validity of a norm, and because there is one that is already taken and yet to come into force (for the course prescribed time, or not yet taken for ratification or otherwise processing of the application procedure), and because you know or at least perceive the need for regulation of a subject to which, during the period, there are no rules.

For example, Italian law states that ordinarily "the laws and regulations become mandatory in the fifteenth day following the date of its publication, unless otherwise specified".[7] Proceed in the ordinary, then, the Italian law calls through the deferment of validity than the need to obtain knowledge of the law by allowing the time when the rule becomes vacant every citizen may, by ordinary diligence in order to take complete concept be ready to enforce it as of the date of entry into force. Some schools of doctrine also added that the holiday can also be read as an ordered softly countervailing principle that " ignorance of legis non excusat, "and in this view, the time for learning correspond to the protection offered to citizens for an equitable balance the inexorable "imminent immanence "of that standard. The recipients of the standard, there are certainly those whose responsibility it is to ensure its implementation, such as the forces of police or other authorities, and thus the holiday is also practical help to optimize the structures and means of administration order operationally to meet the new requirements with the appropriate knowledge and skill.

In practice, then went on to complete the cases of rules, whose validity is starting to decline to reach the time limits laid down (e.g. the type of rule or emanating source), and which in general renewal is strictly conditional expression to a possible new legislation, in such cases when they took vacation, for example, the standard renewal later to confirm the provisions of the previous norm and its entry into force is not continuous with respect to revocation of that (it tends to include in this type of eventuality also delayed into law a decree, perhaps occurring subsequent to the promulgation of the law partially emendante the original decree ).

The topic of the legis vacatio rise to various problems affecting the assessment of legal acts and facts which would fall within moments of fulfillment of the non validity of the norm, most of the problems arising is revealed ex post facto, when litigation For instance, when the rules we must look forward to act in accordance with the provisions of the standard is above that of the renewed, but which took place during the vacatio in silence ( vice frequent) of the new rule on such cases. In general, due to the combined consideration of general rules (e.g. constitutional), the assessment can not, except in very few cases, attributable to the simple recording of the absence of legally binding, but instead often gather around the cases examined, other considerations that make vacatio origin of complex reflections.

For criminal law, note that the principle of non-retroactivity of criminal law governs all matters affecting the absolute priority, divided only by the equally important notion of the " favor rei . For this reason, it is not unusual to attend to the reduction of the vacation times of the Criminal Law (up to the immediacy of the entry into force in more serious cases) in the case of escalation of legal consideration of certain grants socially deemed as the most profoundly important or urgent, and what to avoid that, pending the entry into force of provisions establishing the heaviest condemnation regulated directions, while some may frantically engage with participatory intent and likely mockery of ' order , the Board of facts already considered illegal ( since the rule has already been issued), but not yet enforceable because of vacatio . Conversely, in the case of sanctions relief treatment for decriminalization or obsolescence criminal intent, any vacatio would be deprived of meaning, having already changed with the production of standard place order before the case, and often the rules of this kind are immediately in force or require immediate exclusion of eligibility (or at least the offense ). Finally, it should be remembered, in their devotion to the academic tradition, which some teachers are accustomed to "admonish" in which vacatio measures of pardon and amnesty, the gates remain tight.

In the dialectic doctrinal, political and social, however, the phrase expresses the need or at least the invocation of legislative action on a matter which is fitting for the civic awareness or otherwise of reference groups. In this sense, therefore, speaks of "vacatio" when the production of a standard is deemed necessary to provide regulation on matters of fact assigned uncertainty. It is often the case with relational innovative areas for which existing rules are inadequate or not it can be applied by analogy with satisfactory results, such as in matters related to Internet, for which initially was thought to be able to apply broadly the rules of correspondence and telephone, which, according to some, would not be appropriate to specific needs. For these issues, it is not, as a rule, no mention of legal significance, but merely a social movement (which never even aggregation or collective proposal goes beyond the limit of the legisla), of which the legislature will eventually be taken into account, producing standards in the case that only then can they meet the competence of lawyers. An exception, but point to academic, rather than orthodoxy modal, the authoritative interpretation of the case, usually the case law on account of their taking over that same function for the harmony and coherence of the resulting lack certain standards, e.g., in note reviews with which the Constitutional Court finds founded an exception to the constitutionality of a rule that considers incomplete, indicating the regulatory foul " in so far does not provide ... ". According to some researchers, it would in such cases of "legal recognition of vacatio, "but the question becomes in fact nominalistic.


  1. ^ 1983 Code of Canon Law, Canon 8
  2. ^ The Vatican Collection "Vatican Council II: Volume 1: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents" (New Revised Edition, General Editor: Austin Flanery, O.P.), page 43, footnote "c"
  3. ^ Canon 8 §1
  4. ^ Canon 8 §2
  5. ^ Canon 8 §1
  6. ^ Canon 8 §2
  7. ^ preleggi, Art. 10 - Start of mandatory laws and Regulations

This article incorporates a translation of vacatio legis from the Italian language WorldHeritage.

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