The rescript ( Latin: rescriptum , for example "letter of reply", "reply") is an imperial source of law (constitutio) in Roman law for regulating legal questions in individual cases. According to today's understanding, it has the features of a law and an administrative act ( notification ) in equal measure.
In the form of a rescript, inquiries or submissions from public or private persons were answered in writing by the emperor and his secretariats. The rescripta belonged in addition to the mandata (" mandate " in the sense of "order" or "official instruction to civil servants"), the edicta (" edicts " in the sense of " ordinances ", "general dispositions") and the decreta (" decrees ", " edicts ") to the immediate Roman imperial laws. The collected rescripta are part of the Justinian legislation, preserved in what was later called the Codex Iuris Civilis , the most important part of the Roman legal doctrine that has come down to us .
The rescript itself is the answer to a request to the imperial law firm on a specific issue. The firm's answer or decision was legally binding; the opponent's only remedy was to claim that the content of the letter to the firm was incorrect from the start. Traditionally, the rescript was issued either in the form of a letter (epistula) , or the answer was noted immediately below the text of the input letter (subscriptio) . In this form, the legal institution was not only in use in classical times, but also in Byzantine law , in the “ Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation ” and afterwards in various German federal states and in other countries with a Roman legal tradition.
The Roman Catholic church law is adopted unchanged, the Institute of the rescript in principle from the Roman administrative law and as a common form of canonical decision of individual cases by the hierarchical superior ( Bishop , Pope established). Today the rescript is one of the forms of ecclesiastical administrative action regulated in the Codex Iuris Canonici and refers to individual decisions of the Holy See .
Systematically, the rescript, together with the precept (administrative order), is one of the decrees for individual cases. Upon request ( petition ) , the beneficiary is graciously granted ( indulents ) such as dispensations or privileges or permits ( licenses ) by rescript .
A Rescriptum ex Audientia SS.mi is an oral decision of the Pope that is set down in writing by a curia employee .
- For rescripts: Ulpian , libro primo institutionum , in Digesten 1.4.1; for edicts and decrees: Gaius , Institutiones Gai , 1.5 (decreto vel edicto vel epistula) .
- Martina Tollkühn: The question of the papal interpretation of Amoris laetitia 8 - The "Rescriptum ex audientia ss.mi" and an apostolic letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires .
- Heiner Grote: What does Rome announce how? A document customer for practice .