AskDefine | Define rescript

Dictionary Definition



1 a reply by a Pope to an inquiry concerning a point of law or morality
2 a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge); "a friend in New Mexico said that the order caused no trouble out there" [syn: decree, edict, fiat, order]
3 the act of rewriting something [syn: revision, revisal, revise]
4 something that has been written again; "the rewrite was much better" [syn: rewrite, revision]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The answer of an emperor when formally consulted by a particular persons on some difficult question.
    • 1985: Ronald H. Spector, Eagle Against the Sun
      "'In order that the people may know of my decision, I request you to prepare at once an imperial rescript that I may broadcat to the nation.'"
  2. The official written answer of the Pope upon a question of canon law, or morals.
  3. A duplicate copy of a legal document.


Extensive Definition

A rescript is a document that is issued not on the initiative of the author, but in response (it literally means 'written back') to a specific demand made by its addressee. It does not apply to more general legislation etcetera.


It may take various forms, from a formal document of an established type, such as a Papal Bull, to the forwarding of the demand with a simple mention by way of decision, something like "rejected" or "awarded", either to the party concerned or to the competent executive office to be carried out.
The word originated from the Roman imperial court, which often issued rescripts, in many cases prompted by its many governors and other officials. The other main field of application is the papal Roman Curia, which adopted many Roman administrative terms and practices. The Massachusetts appellate courts issue rescripts to the lower courts; these are the equivalent of mandates in federal appellate practice.
By analogy it is also applied to similar procedures in other contexts, such as the Chinese and Japanese imperial courts, or even before the Roman empire.

Papal rescripts

Rescripts are responses of the pope or a Sacred Congregation, in writing, to queries or petitions of individuals. Papal rescripts concern the granting of favours or the administration of justice under canon law.


rescript in Danish: Reskript
rescript in German: Reskript
rescript in Japanese: 詔勅
rescript in Russian: Рескрипт
rescript in Ukrainian: Рескрипт

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1