Substantive Law Law and Legal Definition

Substantive law is the body of statutory or written law which determine the rights and obligations of individuals and collective bodies. For example, all categories of public and private law including the law of contracts, real property, torts, and criminal law. It is codified in legislated statutes. Procedural law deals with the method and means by which the the substantive law is administered. For example a penal code which defines various crimes and punishments is substantive law whereas a code of criminal procedure describes the process for determining guilt andpunishment and is considered procedural law. U.S. substantive law comes from common law and from legislative statutes.