Amendment Definition

Amendment, in legislation, the alteration of an existing statute.

In the United States

Although the U.S. Congress has no power to alter the Constitution, it does have the power to repeal and alter laws. The method of amending the Constitution is provided by Article V. According to this article, an amendment passes after a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or after the petition of two-thirds of the state legislatures. Amendments are ratified by either the legislatures of three-fourths of the states or by conventions in three-fourths of the states. The Constitution contains no provision directly limiting the power of the state legislatures to repeal the statutes of the several states, but Article I, Section 10, limits the power of a state legislature to repeal statutes that are in effect contracts with the citizens of the state. For details on specific amendments to the Constitution, see Constitution of the United States.

In parliamentary procedure, an amendment may be a motion, bill, or resolution. When adopted in accordance with the rules of parliamentary procedure, an amendment becomes a part of the original motion or bill.

In the law of pleading and practice, an amendment corrects an error or defect in a pleading or judicial proceeding in the progress of an action or other proceeding.

Source: “Amendment”Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia

See Also

Adoption and Amendment of Constitutions in the World: a Timeline
First Amendment: Finding Jefferson
Consequential Amendment
Protocol of Amendment to the Kyoto Convention
United States main topics in the Encyclopedia
Parliamentary law

Definition of Amendment in International Trade

The following is a concept of Amendment in the context of international trade law, from the Dictionary of International Trade (Global Negotiator): 1. In law, an addition, deletion, or change in a legal document. 2. In a letter of credit, a change in terms and conditions of the letter (e.g., extension of the letter of credit’s validity period, shipment deadline, etc.) usually to meet the needs of the seller. The seller requests an amendment of the buyer, who, if he agrees, instructs his bank (the issuing bank) to issue the amendment. The issuing bank informs the seller’s bank (the advising bank) who then notifies the seller of the amendment. In the case of irrevocable letters, amendments may only be made with the agreement of all parties to the transaction. See letter of credit.

Concept of Amendment

Note: explore also the meaning of this legal term in the American Ecyclopedia of Law.


See treaties amendment.

Description of Amendment


See Also

  • Congress


See Also

  • Constitutional Law
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Pleading
  • Statutes
  • Resources

    Further Reading

    • The entry “amendment” in the Parry and Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (currently, the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law, 2009), Oxford University Press

    Hierarchical Display of Amendment

    Politics > Parliamentary proceedings > Legislative procedure


    Concept of Amendment

    See the dictionary definition of Amendment.

    Characteristics of Amendment

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    Translation of Amendment

    Thesaurus of Amendment

    Politics > Parliamentary proceedings > Legislative procedure > Amendment

    See also

    • Professor
    • Teaching staff
    • Reform of a law
    • Parliamentary veto


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