Derogation Law and Legal Definition

Derogation is the partial repeal or abrogation of a law by a later act that limits its scope or impairs its utility and force. For example, statutes in derogation of common law are those statutes which effect a change in the common law. Common law is the system of deciding cases that originated in England and which was later adopted in the U.S.. Common law is based on precedent (legal principles developed in earlier case law) instead of statutory laws. It is the traditional law of an area or region created by judges when deciding individual disputes or cases. Common law changes over time.

The general rule of statutory construction is that statutes enacted in derogation of common law are to be strictly (narrowly) interpreted. However, some statutes are enacted and specifically provide that this principle of strict interpretation doesn’t apply.

It also means depreciation in value or estimation or deviation from a standard or expectation. For example, derogation of family values has increased the crime rate. It can also mean detraction, prejudice, or destruction.