In civil law, obrogation (Latin: obrogat[1] from obrogare[2]) is the modification or repeal of a law in whole or in part by issuing a new law.[3][4][5]

In canon law, of the Catholic Church, obrogation is the enacting of a contrary law that is a revocation of a previous law;[6] it may also be the partial cancellation or amendment of a law, decree, or legal regulation by the imposition of a newer one.

Catholic Church

The 1983 Code of Canon Law governs here in canon 53:

If decrees are contrary one to another, where specific matters are expressed, the specific prevails over the general; if both are equally specific or equally general, the one later in time obrogates the earlier insofar as it is contrary to it.[7]

This canon incorporates Rule 34 in VI of the Regulae Iuris: "Generi per speciem derogatur" or "The specific derogates from the general."[8]

See also


  1. ^ Caparros et al., 1983 Code of Canon Law Annotated, canon 53 (pg. 66)
  2. ^ Black, Nolan & Connolly 1979, p. 971.
  3. ^ Obrogate. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved March 24, 2016.(subscription required)
  4. ^ Garner, Bryan A. (1999). obrogate. Black's Law Dictionary (7th ed.). St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing. p. 1104. ISBN 0-314-22864-0.
  5. ^ "Obrogation definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary". Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  6. ^ Della Rocca, Manual, 69.
  7. ^ 1983 Code of Canon Law, Canon 53, accessed 24 March 2016
  8. ^ Coriden et al., Commentary, pg. 54 (commentary on canon 53).