The promulgation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law has opened new vistas of opportunity for institutes of consecrated life by giving a preponderance of legislative work to institutes and by recognising the Council’s directives to return to the spirit of the founders. The new legislation takes a definitive departure from the 1917 Code of Canon Law regarding religious institutes. The reform that is effected in the 1983 Code of Canon Law with regard to religious institutes comes in the form of a new legislation on the internal autonomy of institutes delineated in c. 586. The innovatory character of this canon and its various nuances for institutes puts this canon into a unique position among the general canons on institutes and societies. The juridical expression of the concept of autonomy in c. 586 is paired with the juridical expression of the concept of dependence in c.576. Dependence of institutes on the hierarchy highlights the inherent competence of the ecclesiastical authority to regulate the closer following of Christ by the profession of the evangelical counsels.