Organic law
An organic or fundamental law is a law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 or system of laws which forms the foundation of a government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

, corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 or other organization's body of rules. A constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 is a particular form of organic law for a sovereign state.

Organic laws of the United States

The U.S. Code (2007) defines the organic laws of the United States to include the Declaration of Independence
Declaration of independence
A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

, the Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

, the Northwest Ordinance
Northwest Ordinance
The Northwest Ordinance was an act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States, passed July 13, 1787...

, and the U.S. Constitution.

Organic laws in France

Under the current Constitution of France
Constitution of France
The current Constitution of France was adopted on 4 October 1958. It is typically called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and replaced that of the Fourth Republic dating from 1946. Charles de Gaulle was the main driving force in introducing the new constitution and inaugurating the Fifth...

, organic laws are a short, fixed list of statutes (as of 2005, there are about 30 of them), whose existence is provisioned by the text of the Constitution itself. Those special statutes are of constitutional scope according to the framing of the French Constitution (especially its preambles), and also have constitutional force. This means that they overrule ordinary statutes, despite their being enacted by the Parliament of France
Parliament of France
The French Parliament is the bicameral legislature of the French Republic, consisting of the Senate and the National Assembly . Each assembly conducts legislative sessions at a separate location in Paris: the Palais du Luxembourg for the Senate, the Palais Bourbon for the National Assembly.Each...

 in the same way — except that the Constitutional Council of France
Constitutional Council of France
The Constitutional Council is the highest constitutional authority in France. It was established by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic on 4 October 1958, and its duty is to ensure that the principles and rules of the constitution are upheld.Its main activity is to rule on whether proposed...

 is unconditionally consulted before any organic law is enacted.

This mechanism allows the French Constitution to provide flexibility where needed. Dispositions such as the legislative process for enacting the budgets of the French state and French social security
Social security
Social security is primarily a social insurance program providing social protection or protection against socially recognized conditions, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment and others. Social security may refer to:...

, as well as the practical procedures for the various election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

s, are delegated to organic laws, which tends to make the constitution itself less prone to change.

An important category of organic laws are budget system laws.

Organic laws in Spain

Under the current Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 Constitution of 1978
Spanish Constitution of 1978
-Structure of the State:The Constitution recognizes the existence of nationalities and regions . Preliminary Title As a result, Spain is now composed entirely of 17 Autonomous Communities and two autonomous cities with varying degrees of autonomy, to the extent that, even though the Constitution...

, an Organic Law has an intermediate status between that of an ordinary law and of the constitution itself. It must be passed by a majority of the Congress of Deputies. The Spanish Constitution specifies that some areas of law should be regulated by this procedure, such as the Laws of Development of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms contained in the first section of Chapter Two of Title I of the Constitution, which was the basis for the Statutes of Autonomy
Statute of Autonomy
Nominally, a Statute of Autonomy is a law hierarchically located under the constitution of a country, and over any other form of legislation...

 of the various autonomous communities of Spain
Autonomous communities of Spain
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

. Prior to the 1978 constitution this concept had no precedent in Spain, but was inspired by the similar concept in the current French Constitution of 1958.

See also

  • Basic Law
    Basic Law
    The term basic law is used in some places as an alternative to "constitution", implying it is a temporary but necessary measure without formal enactment of constitution. A basic law is either a codified constitution, or in countries with uncodified constitutions, a law given to have constitution...

  • Organic statute
    Organic statute
    Organic statute is a calque from the French "Règlement Organique"; literally "regulations for an organ", with "organ" meaning an organization or governmental body...

  • Fundamental Law
    Fundamental law
    Fundamental law may refer to:* Organic law, in particular,** Constitution, in particular,*** The Russian Constitution of 1906.*** The German Grundgesetz ....

  • Organic Laws of Oregon
    Organic Laws of Oregon
    The Organic Laws of Oregon were two sets of laws passed in the 1840s that established a structure for government in the Oregon Country in the northwest corner of North America. These laws were created by a legislative committee formed after the Champoeg Meetings...

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