Medlemsbetingelser Best Western Rewards
Best Western Rewards er et globalt loyalitetsprogram, som ejes og styres af Best Western International i USA. Derfor er medlemsvilkårene skrevet på engelsk og er gældende for alle medlemmer rundt om i hele verden.
Hvis du har nogle spørgsmål til medlemsvilkårene er du velkommen til at kontakte medlemsservice på email@example.com eller ringe på 80 01 09 88.
Best Western Rewards® Terms and Conditions
About the program
Becoming a member of the program and creating an account
Use of your account information
Earning points for nights
Earning Airline miles
Other ways to earn points
Redeeming points for free night stays, using free night vouchers
Redeeming points for miles
Other ways to redeem
Best Western Rewards discounted room rate
Point expiration and membership cancellation
Applicable law, arbitration
Other terms and conditions
1. Best Western Rewards® Terms and Conditions
This agreement requires individual arbitration to resolve any disputes rather than jury trials or class actions. Full details are described below. These Terms and Conditions (“Terms”) which became effective January 1, 2016 (“Program Date”), govern the Best Western Rewards® Program (“Program”) and supersede and replace all previous terms and conditions that were effective prior to the Program Date. These Terms apply to all Members of the Program regardless of country of residence. Certain countries, however, may impose additional restrictions on the Program. The terms “you” and your” are used in these Terms to refer to individual Members who are enrolled in the Program and have created a Member Account (“Account”).
2. About the program
The Program is administered by Best Western International, Inc. (“BWI”), which is the party with whom you are entering into a contract by agreeing to these Terms, and it is located in the United States at 6201 N. 24th Parkway, Phoenix, Arizona 85016. BWI may, in its sole discretion, designate certain tasks relating to administering the program to any of its designated subsidiaries. The Program is administered by BWI on behalf of itself, its subsidiaries, independently owned and operated Best Western® branded hotels and participating WorldHotels™ branded hotels around the world (“Licensed Hotels”), and third-party affiliated organizations permitted to sublicense Licensed Hotels outside the United States in various countries and territories throughout the world (“Affiliates”). Please note that Licensed Hotels and Affiliates are independent entities that are not owned, operated, managed, or controlled by BWI or BWI subsidiaries. The Program gives Members the opportunity to earn Best Western Rewards® Points (“Points”) that can be redeemed for free night stays at Licensed Hotels, airline miles with certain airline partners (each an “Airline Partner”), and other services or items with other program partners. Further details on redemption options are described below and available on bestwesternrewards.com or an Affiliate’s Best Western website for your region or country of residence (each a “Local Site”).
3. Becoming a member of the program and creating an account
For individuals who are not yet Members, you may enroll in the Program as a new Member online at bestwestern.se, by calling a Best Western call center, through a Best Western mobile application, or through the front desk at a Licensed Hotel. You must be the age of majority in your country of residence to be a Member of the Program. To create a Member Account, which tracks your Points and account activity, you must provide accurate and complete information, including a current, valid e-mail address, phone number, and mailing address (“Account Information”). You may never use another person’s account without permission.
5. Use of your account information
6. Earning points for nights
All nights are eligible to earn points (“Qualifying Nights”) with the exception of the following (Non- Qualifying Nights”): Nights booked through online travel agencies (“OTAs”), such as priceline.com, expedia.com, travelocity.com, booking.com, kayak.com (i.e., channels other than Best Western branded booking channels); Nights booked through tour operators; and Nights booked at special discounted rates, such as employee rates, FIT/wholesale/net rates, motorcoach/bus rates, crew rates, BWR free night awards rates (FX rates), or discounted rates for stays longer than thirty (30) nights. What constitutes a rate or booking channel that qualifies as a Qualified Night versus a Non- Qualifying Night may change and so you should always confirm when making a reservation whether you are reserving a rate that qualifies as a Qualifying Night, for which you can earn Points, or a Non- Qualifying Night, for which you will not earn Points. This is more important if you are booking through a channel other than a Best Western branded booking channel. You can earn Points for up to ten (10) rooms per stay in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean and up to three (3) rooms per stay outside of the United States, Canada and the Caribbean provided that: (a) one (1) room is occupied by you; (b) you pay for all the rooms; (c) Points for that room have not been issued to another Member; and (d) you presented your Best Western Rewards® membership number at the time of booking or at check-in. If you occupy a room with another Member, only one (1) Member will receive the Points and qualifying night towards Elite status. You must decide amongst yourselves who will receive the Points and the qualifying night. Points are added to your Account within seven (7) business days following check-out. Individual hotel rooms that are billed directly to a corporate account but where you are individually responsible for authorization of settlement at check-out constitute a Qualified Night. Up to 10 rooms for a group booking will receive Points. Selection of which ten rooms (and Members) receive the Points is at the discretion of the person making the reservation. In order to calculate Points for Qualifying Nights that are paid for in currencies other than U.S. Dollars, BWI will first convert the amount of the payment to U.S. Dollars using a reasonable conversion rate, as determined by BWI no less than annually and in its sole discretion but based on officially published conversion rates, and then calculate the Points based on the converted payment amount. If you have a Qualifying Night while you are a Member but fail to present your Membership card or otherwise record the stay in your Account, you must request a credit for that stay within six (6) months after the date of the Qualifying Nights by visiting bestwestern.com or your Local Site, or by calling a Best Western call center. Requests should include your name, Account number, address, daytime telephone number and/or e-mail address, and reservation confirmation number. If you enroll in the Program after having a Qualified Night, you may request Points only if your enrollment occurred within thirty (30) days after your stay. Requests should include your name, Account number, address, daytime telephone number and/or e-mail address, and reservation confirmation number. Members may transfer Points to other Members.
7. Earning Airline miles
Rather than earning Points for Qualifying Nights or as otherwise provided herein, you can instead elect to earn airline miles (“Miles”) with any of our approved partner frequent flyer programs (“Airline Programs”) by logging into your Account through bestwestern.com or the Local Site for your country of residence or by calling a Best Western call center and directing BWI to award Miles (instead of Points) as your earning preference, identifying the Airline Program, and providing your frequent flyer membership number for your preferred Airline Program. Airline Programs may award different point values based on the rules and conditions of the individual Airline Program. Contact a Best Western call center prior to booking a Qualifying Night for current Miles award level information. For a full list of Airline Programs and details for earning Miles visit bestwesternrewards.com or your Local Site. To be clear, if you direct BWI to award Miles instead of Points, you will not earn any Points for Qualifying Nights or as otherwise provided herein; you will only earn Miles for the one Airline Program you have selected. You may at any time return to earning Points instead of Miles using the same procedure.
8. Other ways to earn points
From time to time, BWI will partner with great companies, from car rental companies to flower retailers to wine clubs and beyond, to provide you with other opportunities to earn Points when you purchase certain products and services. For details about these earning partners, visit bestwesternrewards.com or bestwestern.se. You may also be selected to participate in exclusive, special promotions where you will have the opportunity to earn Bonus Points. Earning such Bonus Points is subject to any additional restrictions, requirements, or terms and conditions applicable to that particular promotion. Please read the terms and conditions for any special promotion closely before participating.
9. Purchasing points
You must be a member in good standing of the Best Western Rewards Program or the WorldHotels Rewards Program (each a “Program”) to purchase Points. A new member may purchase Points thirty (30) days after enrollment in a Program if the account reflects at least one (1) stay posted to the account. Points may be purchased online at bestwestern.com or by calling 020-88 15 41. The purchased Points will be posted to the member’s account within two (2) days. Points may be purchased at the rate of U.S.$ 00.01 per Point. Points can only be purchased in increments of 1,000 Points. You may purchase a maximum of 20,000 Points per day and a maximum of 100,000 Points per twelve (12) month period. The total cost of the Points will be displayed before the purchase is completed. The purchased Points will not count towards qualification for or towards improved elite status in either Program. The purchased Points are subject to each Program’s terms and conditions. BWI reserves the right to cancel and reverse any transactions. You agree to pay BWI in full by credit card prior to any Points being posted to your account. By submitting a request to purchase Points you authorize BWI or its service provider to charge the credit card number you provided. All purchases must be made in U.S. Dollars only. The purchased Points are non-refundable. Purchase limits, minimum Points purchase requirements and cost of Points are subject to change at any time without notification.
10. Redeeming points for free night stays, using free night vouchers
The number of Points required for one (1) free night stay at a Licensed Hotel is based on the expected average daily rate on the date requested for the stay, varies throughout the year, and is subject to change at BWI’s discretion. Free night stays can be reserved at any Licensed Hotel worldwide subject to capacity controls and room availability. To find the number of Points required or to check availability for a free night stay, visit bestwestern.com, your Local Site, the Best Western mobile application, or contact a Best Western call center. Free night stays may not be booked through travel agents or online travel agents and are not commissionable. Free night stays are not exchangeable for cash. Reservations for free night vouchers must be booked by calling a Best Western call center. A free night stay in a standard room at any Licensed Hotel includes the cost of the room and room taxes, but does not include incidental charges, resort fees, or other fees that the Licensed Hotel may charge, such as parking fees. Guest is financially responsible for any portion of charges exceeding the free night stay voucher. If a free night reservation is not cancelled by the hotel cancellation deadline and the guest is a “no show”, your Account will be charged the proper number of points for the date of the free night reservation. Free night stays may only be gifted to immediate family members (spouse, partner, children, parents, in-laws, siblings) in the form of a printed or electronic voucher. Once issued, the voucher is not transferable.
11. Redeeming points for miles
If you have directed BWI to award Miles instead of Points, then your Miles are earned at the time you pay for your Qualified Nights or through your purchases with other earning partners; those Miles are then transferred to your Airline Program account and further redemption of Points from your Member Account is not necessary. If you choose to convert your Points and redeem them for Miles, you can do so at any time by going to bestwestern.com, at which time the Miles are then transferred to your Airline Program account. Again, each Airline Program maintains its own rules, regulations, and program terms and conditions, all of which will apply to your use of any Miles. BWI is not responsible for any Airline Program’s terms and conditions. Points will be converted into Miles at a conversion rate determined by BWI in its sole discretion using currently published conversion rates, which may change from time to time.
12. Other ways to redeem
Special promotions: You may also be selected to participate in exclusive, special promotions where you will have the opportunity to redeem your Points for special offers. Such opportunities will be subject to any additional restrictions, requirements, or terms and conditions applicable to that particular promotion. Please read the terms and conditions for a special promotion closely before redeeming Points or participating. The Best Western Travel Card®: Points can be used to purchase a Best Western Travel Card®, which can be used for lodging charges at any Licensed Hotel worldwide (i.e. room night charges and applicable taxes), and unless the Best Western Travel Card® is offered as a part of a promotion, it does not have an expiration date. Acceptance of the Best Western Travel Card® for services other than lodging charges is at the discretion of each Licensed Hotel. For a complete list of terms and conditions relating to the Best Western Travel Card®, visit travelcard.bestwestern.com. Your receipt of a Best Western Travel Card® does not constitute a reservation. Your Best Western Travel Card® will be issued in EUR or your local currency but will be redeemed in the currency of the Licensed Hotel where you use the Best Western Travel Card® at a then-current exchange rate, determined by BWI using a rate published by a media journal or newspaper, such as the Wall Street Journal. Other Redemption Options: You can also redeem Points for a wide range of other items by visiting bestwestern.se or by calling a Best Western call center. For redemption items that are delivered digitally, such as virtual gift cards, you will generally receive an email containing your gift card within seven (7) business days after redeeming your Points. For redemption items that are mailed to you, such as merchandise and physical gift cards, BWI endeavors to mail such items to you promptly, but occasionally, it may take between four (4) weeks to eight (8) weeks depending upon availability. For security purposes, redeemed items cannot be shipped to a P.O. Box, and certain types of gift cards and merchandise may not be available outside of the certain regions. Please make sure the address in your Member Account is current before placing a redemption order. All gift cards and gift certificates redeemed with Points are subject to any additional terms and conditions imposed by the applicable issuer, which may include expiration dates, inactivity fees, and other restrictions (except for the Best Western Travel Card®, which does not have expiration dates or inactivity fees unless it is issued as part of a promotion). Certain gift card and gift certificate providers charge fees for inactivity. Accordingly, BWI can only warrant that a gift card or gift certificate will be redeemable at full face value (i.e. no deductions for inactivity) for six (6) months from the date of your order. Many redemption items are provided through independent suppliers and are subject to additional terms and conditions. BWI makes no guarantees, warranties or representations of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such items, and, to the extent permitted by the law of your jurisdiction, shall not be liable for any loss, expense, accident or inconvenience that may arise in connection with the use of such items. However, most merchandise items available through the Program are backed by the manufacturer by a manufacturer’s warranty. For merchandise that is defective upon delivery or damaged during shipping Members should contact a Best Western call center. BWI will contact the vendor, retailer, seller, or manufacturer of the item to seek a return label and provide the label to the Member to assist in their returning the merchandise and seeking an exchange. Gift cards and gift certificates are not exchangeable, refundable, or changeable under any circumstances and are not replaceable in the event of loss or destruction. Charitable Donations: You may also choose to redeem Points for a charitable donation to certain approved charities, in which case the following conditions will apply. The donation will be reflected on your online statement in your Account, which will constitute your receipt. You are solely responsible for consulting your tax advisor regarding whether your donation of Points may be tax deductible. Visit bestwesternrewards.com for further details on this redemption option. General: Many redemption items are valid only in certain countries or are denominated in certain currencies. It is the responsibility of the Member to select a redemption item that corresponds to the Member’s intended use. To the extent permitted by applicable law, once fulfilled, redeemed items may not be returned or refunded, and items are subject to availability. BWI shall make a good faith effort to fulfill an order with the items requested; however, BWI may substitute a similar item with equivalent value if an item is not available.
13. Best Western Rewards discounted room rate
Members who book a reservation at a Licensed Hotel through bestwestern.se or bestwestern.com may receive a discount of 10% or more off the published “Flexible Rate.” To take advantage of this discount, select the “Best Western Rewards® Rate Plan.” This rate may not be available in all countries.
14. Elite Status
BWI offers four different levels of Elite Status Membership (Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Select). To achieve an Elite Status, you must accumulate either the required number of Qualifying Nights in a calendar year as designated in the chart below: Status Level – Qualifying Nights*
Gold 5 – Qualifying Nights
Platinum – 7 Qualifying Nights
Diamond – 15 Qualifying Nights
Diamond Select – 25 Qualifying Nights Once you achieve Elite Status, that status will remain in effect for the remainder of the calendar year in which it is achieved and through March of the next calendar year following qualification. If you meet the requirements for next Elite Status level, you will progress to the next Elite Status tier. For example, if you achieve Gold Elite Status in August 2023, you will retain Gold Elite Status through March 31, 2025. If you achieve Gold Elite Status in August 2023 and then Platinum Status in October 2023, you will retain Platinum Elite Status through March 31, 2025. BWI reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to grant Elite Status to Members who have not met the Elite Status criteria. As an Elite Status Member, where BWR points are set as the preferred earning preference, you will receive Bonus Points for each Qualifying Night completed during the time in which you maintain Elite Status, as follows:
Members who have attained Gold Elite Status receive a 10% Point bonus;
Members who have attained Platinum Elite Status receive a 15% Point bonus;
Members who have attained Diamond Elite Status receive a 30% Point bonus; and
Members who have attained Diamond Select Elite Status receive a 50% Point bonus.
Bonus Points will be awarded beginning with the first Qualified Night after Elite Status is earned.
Members who earn airline miles will not receive tier level bonus point or miles. Members who have attained Elite Status will be provided with a dedicated toll-free number to call to facilitate all reservations and account servicing needs. Members who achieve Elite Status at the Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Select levels will receive complimentary water at check-in. **A “qualifying night” for the purpose of this Offer is defined as any night-stay, with the exception of a night booked through an online travel agency, a night booked through a tour operator, or a night booked at a special discounted rate (see Best Western Rewards program rules for further information on eligibility criteria.
15. Member Benefits
Restaurant Vouchers* Members in all tier levels will be offered restaurant vouchers or extra points for each night when staying at any Best Western branded hotel in Sweden and Norway. Benefit is not applicable at hotels under the brands Sure Hotel, Sure Hotel Collection or Sure Hotel Studio. The voucher is valid as discount on food and drinks in the restaurant or bar referred to by the hotel, or as discount on snacks and nonalcoholic beverage in the hotel shop. If you want to use the voucher for alcoholic beverages, it must be accompanied by food. Room Upgrade** Members who have attained Elite Status at the Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Select levels may receive an upgraded room at the time of check-in. Assignment of an upgraded room is within the sole discretion of the applicable Licensed Hotel. Room upgrades are subject to availability at check-in. Licensed Hotels are not required to provide specialty rooms or suites room upgrades. 48-hour room guarantee** Members who have attained Elite Status at the Diamond Select level are guaranteed a room at any Best Western hotel in Scandinavia up to 48 hours before check-in. This benefit is not available if there is a large event or exhibition going on at the same time as the requested stay date. Welcome Amenity Members who achieve Elite Status at the Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Select levels receive a welcome amenity upon check-in at Licensed hotels in Scandinavia. Members have the option to choose extra points instead of the welcome amenity. *Benefit available in Sweden and Norway only. **Benefit available in Sweden, Norway and Denmark only.
16. Point expiration and membership cancellation
Points earned under the Program do not expire. BWI reserves the right to cancel any Member Account and revoke any and all unredeemed Points in the event of any of the following circumstances:
your violation of these Terms;
your providing any false or inaccurate Account Information or your misuse of the Program;
your violation of any national, state, or local law or regulation;
your bartering, transferring (except as permitted herein) or selling Points, redemption items, and other Member benefits (including for commercial purposes);
your failure to pay for Licensed Hotel charges, including payments to Licensed Hotels that are invalid or returned for having insufficient funds;
your commission of fraud or abuse involving any portion of the Program;
your knowingly maintaining more than one (1) active Member Account;
any action or conduct by you that is determined by BWI in its sole discretion to be unreasonable, harassing, offensive to, or to the detriment of the Program, any of its alliances, partners, or representatives, BWI employees, or the staff of Licensed Hotels; or in the event of any suspicious activity in your Member Account. No Sale or Transfer of Points. Points, rewards, elite status benefits, and other Member benefits may not be sold, bartered or transferred (except as permitted herein). Any attempted transfer, sale or barter in violation of these Terms will be void.
17. Applicable law, arbitration
Please Read This Carefully. It Affects Your Rights. Unless prohibited by the laws of your jurisdiction, any and all disputes between you and BWI or any of its designated subsidiaries arising under or related in any way to these Terms or your participation in the Program (defined below as Claims) shall be resolved by applying the laws of Arizona or the federal laws of the United States, as applicable, without regard to conflict of laws principles. Further, any and all disputes between you and BWI or any of its designated subsidiaries arising under or related in any way to these Terms or your participation in the Program must be resolved through binding arbitration as described in this section. This agreement to arbitrate is intended to be interpreted broadly. It includes, but is not limited to, all claims and disputes, including class action claims, relating to and arising from your participation in the Program, including but not limited to any claims related to or arising out of unauthorized disclosure of or access to any Account Information (“Security Breach”), advertising or marketing claims, product liability, or consumer claims (“Claims”). YOU AGREE THAT BY ENTERING INTO THIS AGREEMENT, YOU AND BWI ARE EACH WAIVING THE RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY OR TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION. YOU AND BWI AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN YOUR OR ITS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING. ANY ARBITRATION WILL TAKE PLACE ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS; CLASS ARBITRATIONS AND CLASS ACTIONS ARE NOT PERMITTED. The arbitration will be governed by the Commercial Arbitration Rules and the Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes of the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), as modified by this section. For any claim where the total amount of the award sought is $10,000 or less, the AAA, you, and BWI must abide by the following rules: (a) the arbitration shall be conducted solely based on written submissions; and (b) the arbitration shall not involve any personal appearance by the parties or witnesses unless otherwise mutually agreed by the parties. If the claim exceeds $10,000, the right to a hearing will be determined by the AAA rules, and the hearing (if any) must take place solely and exclusively in Phoenix, Arizona. The arbitrator’s ruling is binding and may be entered as a judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction. In the event this agreement to arbitrate is held unenforceable by a court or is prohibited by the laws of your country of residence, then any Claims that would otherwise have been arbitrated shall be solely and exclusively brought only in the state or federal courts within Phoenix, Arizona. To the extent permitted by applicable law all Claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred (including, with respect to a Security Breach, costs of legally required notification and remediation) but in no event include attorneys’ fees, and under no circumstances will any Member be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, special, consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses. To the extent the laws of your country of residence mandate the restriction or prohibition of the requirement to arbitrate, the prohibition against class actions, the application of the laws of Arizona or the federal laws of the United States as applicable, or the jurisdiction of the federal or state courts located in Phoenix, Arizona, you agree that the following provisions of this paragraph shall apply: Any dispute arising out of or in connection with this contract (defined above broadly as Claims), including any question regarding its existence, validity or termination, shall be referred to and finally resolved by arbitration under authority of the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”) and the LCIA Rules, which rules are deemed to be incorporated by reference into this clause. The number of arbitrators shall be three. The seat or legal place of arbitration shall be London, England. The language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be English. The governing law in such an event shall be the substantive law of England and Wales. Notwithstanding the foregoing, each Member and BWI shall be entitled to seek injunctive relief (unless otherwise precluded by any other provision of these Terms) in the state and federal courts of Phoenix, Arizona.
18. Other terms and conditions
Unless prohibited by the laws of your jurisdiction, all Terms, including all Point earning and redemption requirements are subject to revision without notice by BWI, in its sole and absolute discretion. Determination and payment of tax liability is your sole responsibility as a Member. Neither BWI, its subsidiaries, employees, agents, or partners, nor Licensed Hotels or Affiliates shall be responsible for lost or stolen awards. You may not transfer your Points to anyone without a valid court order or unless otherwise noted in these Terms. Points are not redeemable for cash or any other form of credit unless specifically required by applicable law. Point value is set by BWI in its sole discretion and may be updated from time to time, as permitted by applicable law. BWI may choose in its sole discretion to issue membership credentials in a variety of formats to Members. Physical membership credentials issued by BWI remain the sole property of Best Western and must be surrendered by the Member upon request. BWI may modify the Points listed in your Account based on actual stay information. BWI may terminate the Program at any time without prior notice, in which case you must redeem your Points within ninety calendar days, or any other period required by the applicable law of your jurisdiction, after your receipt of notice of termination of the Program to avoid forfeiting your Points. The Program is governed by laws of the United States and the State of Arizona without regard conflicts of laws principles, unless otherwise indicated in the “Special Notes” sections below. BWI is not responsible for illegible, lost, late, incomplete, misdirected, or undeliverable mail or e-mail; or for any computer, telephone, satellite, cable, network, electronic or Internet hardware or software malfunctions, failures, connections, or availability, or garbled, corrupt or jumbled transmissions, service provider/Internet/web site/use net accessibility, availability, or traffic congestion, or any technical, typographical, or other error, or unauthorized human intervention, or the incorrect or inaccurate capture of Account Information, or the failure to capture, or loss of, any such Account Information. BWI assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, or technical error. We may revise these Terms from time to time by posting an updated version on this page. If you are a Member and a revision meaningfully reduces your rights, we will notify you by sending a message to the email address associated with your Account and you agree that the revised Terms will be effective ninety (90) days after the message is sent to you. Your continued participation in the Program is subject to the most current, effective version of these Terms. The waiver by BWI of any breach by a Member of a term, covenant, provision, or condition provided herein shall not constitute a waiver of any prior, concurrent or subsequent breach by the Member of the same or any other term, covenant, provision, or condition herein. These Terms only apply to the extent permitted by the laws of the country, state, or province of the applicable Member. To the extent any of the foregoing limitations are not permitted under the laws of your country, state, or province, you agree that the remaining portions of these Terms that are permissible shall apply to the maximum extent permitted by law.