the letter of the law


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letter of the law

Exactly as a law is written. I know he's the mayor's cousin, but we need to stick to the letter of the law so as to not get accused of giving him preferential treatment.
See also: law, letter, of

letter of the law

The precise wording rather than the spirit or intent. For example, Since it was the first time he'd broken the rules, the school decided to ignore the letter of the law and just give him a warning . [Late 1500s]
See also: law, letter, of

the letter of the law

COMMON The letter of the law is the law's exact meaning rather than the general and more important principles on which it is based. The Home Office stuck to the letter of the law over the definition of dependants. Michael Brower says such transactions violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. Note: You usually use this expression to show disapproval.
See also: law, letter, of

the letter of the law

the precise literal interpretation of a rule or instruction (as opposed to its broad intention).
See also: law, letter, of

the ˌletter of the ˈlaw

(often disapproving) the exact words of a law or rule rather than its general meaning: They insist on sticking to the letter of the law.
See also: law, letter, of
References in classic literature ?
Of course, it was a legal crime, of course, the letter of the law was broken and blood was shed.
BY the letter of the law, referee Michael Oliver was correct to send off Ibrahim Afellay (left) and Charlie Adam inside the first 31 minutes of Stoke's defeat by West Brom.
Stoke boss Hughes said: "With the first red card, it is that old thing, the letter of the law - if you raise your hands, then you have to go.
If you go by the letter of the law it is a sending-off, but if you do letter of the law every single game then you will get six or seven sendings-off a game," Monk said.
If you go by the letter of the law it is a sending off, but if you do the letter of the law every single game then you will get six or seven sendings off a game," Monk said.
Washington, March 9 ( ANI ): A few days after the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts issued a letter-of-the-law ruling which allowed a man accused of taking "upskirt" photos to avoid prosecution, the legislature changed the letter of the law.
Widiw Christine Gent said: "We all hope justice is carried out swiftly and to the letter of the law.
We agree that this is the letter of the law, and recognize that everyone wants to pay lower taxes.
Tri-C President Jerry Sue Thornton told the newspaper the dispute is over "meeting the letter of the law on their rules and regs.
But the police are entitled to uphold the letter of the law if they so wish, so be warned drivers and keep to the limits at all times.
There could be legal problems for small businesses who do not realise they could be contravening the letter of the law in any of three ways: by the use of specific words, by the use of specific images, and by promoting activities and events on materials that already include brand logos of non-official sponsors.
REFEREES have to stick to the letter of the law, otherwise they get marked down by the dreaded assessors, but I do wish they were allowed a little latitude at times.
According to the Facebook post: "Let me state emphatically, everything has been followed to the letter of the law by myself and the employees of The Farrah Fawcett Foundation.
Perhaps they created those holes on purpose to be able bypass the letter of the law do things their own way.
THEY may be adhering to the letter of the law but the way bosses have treated 400 Scots T-Mobile workers is morally bankrupt.