Organic Statutes

… a core term in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100


Malcolmson and Myers (reference below) define organic statutes as acts of a legislative body establishing constitutional rules.

Organic statutes are one of three forms taken by a constitution; the other two being constitutional conventions and constitutional laws.

Malcolmson and Myers (page 24) use the example, in Canada, of the Supreme Court of Canada Act, which was not mentioned in the Constitution Act, 1867: 

Section 101 gives the federal Parliament the right to establish a “General Court of Appeal for Canada,” and in 1875, Ottawa used this power to create a supreme court in The Supreme Court of Canada Act. Because the Supreme Court of Canada is this country’s highest institution of judicial power, the act that establishes it must certainly be considered a constitutional act, even though it is not a constitutional law. Here, then, is a good example of a Canadian “organic statute.”

Atlas topic, subject, and course

Constitutional Framework (core topic) in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100 Governance and Institutions.


Patrick Malcolmson and Richard Myers (2012), “The Constitution,” in The Canadian Regime: An Introduction to Parliamentary Government in Canada, 5th ed., page 18, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 12 August 2016.