Reference Statute Law and Legal Definition

Statutes which refer to other statutes and make them applicable to the subject of the legislation are called reference statutes. Their object is to incorporate into the act of which they are a part the provisions of other statutes by reference and adoption. Reference statutes are of frequent use to avoid encumbering the statute books by unnecessary repetition, and they have frequently been recognized as an approved method of legislation, in the absence of constitutional restrictions. When a statute adopts a part or all of another statute, domestic or foreign, general or local, by a specific and descriptive reference thereto, the adoption takes the statutes as it exists at that time. The subsequent amendment or repeal of the adopted statute has no effect on the adopting statute, unless it is also repealed expressly or by necessary implication. [State v. Armstrong, 31 N.M. 220 (N.M. 1924)].

Making new law by reference to old law does not violate a restriction upon extending the provisions of existing law by reference to its title only. [State v. Armstrong, 31 N.M. 220, 255-256 (N.M. 1924)].