Blackletter Law Law and Legal Definition

Blackletter Law is a term used to refer to legal principles that are old, fundamental, and well settled. It refers to the law printed in books set in Gothic type font, and that are bold and black. It is also known as hornbook law.

Black letter law is generally known and free from doubt or dispute. For example, law that state standard elements for a contract or the technical definition of battery.

The term "black-letter law" is also used commonly in the U.S. legal system to mean well-established case law.

In English law, black letter law is a term used to describe those areas of law characterized by technical rules, rather than those areas of law characterized by having a more conceptual basis. Contract, tort and land law are typical black letter law subjects, whereas administrative law, for example, would be considered considerably less black letter.