PROCEDURE (Fr. procedure, from Lat. procedere, to go forward) , in general, a method or course of action. In law, procedure may be defined as the mode in which the successive steps in litigation are taken. As a term in English law it dates only from the passing of the Common Law Procedure Acts 1852-1860; it is usually coupled with, or more often replaced by, the word " practice." The procedure of the High Court of Justice in England is governed by the rules of the supreme court, which are published in the Annual Practice. Procedure has been defined (per Lush, L.J., Poyser v. Minors, L. R. 7 Q.B.D. 329), as " the mode of proceeding by which a legal right is enforced as distinguished from the law which gives or defines the right, and which by means of the proceeding the court is to administer; the machinery as distinguished from the product." T. E. Holland (Elements of Jurisprudence, 1906, p. 86) describes procedure, or " adjective " law, as that part of law which provides a method of aiding and protecting rights.
See the articles on the various branches of law, as ADMIRALTY JURISDICTION, CRIMINAL LAW, DIVORCE, etc. ; also ACTION, APPEAL, EVIDENCE, PLEADING, SUMMONS, TRIAL, etc.