Decree vs. Legislation — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on September 22, 2023
A Decree is an official order issued by an authority, while Legislation refers to laws enacted by a legislative body. Both provide rules, but they originate differently.
Difference Between Decree and Legislation
Table of Contents
Both Decree and Legislation establish rules or directives, but their sources differ significantly. A Decree usually emanates from someone in authority, like a monarch, governor, or court. It's an official order that might not involve a lengthy legislative process.
Legislation, in contrast, specifically involves the making or enacting of laws. This is typically a procedure conducted by a legislative body, like Congress or Parliament. Through Legislation, elected representatives consider, debate, and then pass laws that govern a jurisdiction.
While a Decree can be swiftly issued by an authoritative figure, Legislation requires a more complex, often time-consuming process. This might involve multiple readings, discussions, amendments, and votes before a bill becomes law.
The impact and longevity of both can also differ. While Legislation can be long-standing and require another legislative act to change, a Decree might be more temporary or specific to an immediate need.
In essence, while both Decrees and Legislation serve to provide directives or establish rules, their origins, processes, and implications can be markedly different.
Authority figure or court
Can be swiftly issued
Involves readings, debates, and votes
Can be temporary
Can address immediate needs
Typically more generalized
Can be altered by the same authority
Requires a legislative process for modification
Compare with Definitions
An official order issued by an authority.
The king's Decree mandated a curfew.
The process of making or enacting laws.
The state's Legislation is focused on improving public education.
A formal and authoritative command.
The court's Decree settled the property dispute.
The act of creating laws within a jurisdiction.
Local Legislation varies across counties.
A proclamation set by a governing figure.
By royal Decree, the festival was to last three days.
Laws enacted by a governing body.
The Legislation on environmental protection passed unanimously.
A binding directive from a higher authority.
The Decree of the leader was not to be questioned.
A law or set of laws proposed or enacted.
New Legislation is being drafted to address cyber threats.
An authoritative order having the force of law.
Official laws and regulations made by elected officials.
The Legislation on taxation was revised last year.
The judgment of a court of equity.
The act or process of legislating; lawmaking.
The judgment of a court.
A proposed or enacted law or group of laws.
A doctrinal or disciplinary act of an ecclesiastical authority.
The act of legislating; preparation and enactment of laws.
There is a lack of legislation about human cloning.
An administrative act applying or interpreting articles of canon law.
Law which has been enacted by legislature or other governing body
To order, establish, or decide by decree
Decreed that the two kingdoms would be united.
The act of legislating; preparation and enactment of laws; the laws enacted.
Pythagoras joined legislation to his philosophy.
To issue a decree.
Law enacted by a legislative body
An edict or law.
The act of making or enacting laws
(legal) The judicial decision in a litigated cause rendered by a court of equity.
(legal) The determination of a cause in a court of admiralty or court of probate.
(religion) A predetermination made by God; an act of providence.
To command by a decree.
A court decrees a restoration of property.
An order from one having authority, deciding what is to be done by a subordinate; also, a determination by one having power, deciding what is to be done or to take place; edict, law; authoritative ru decision.
There went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
Poor hand, why quiverest thou at this decree?
A decision, order, or sentence, given in a cause by a court of equity or admiralty.
An edict or law made by a council for regulating any business within their jurisdiction; as, the decrees of ecclesiastical councils.
To determine judicially by authority, or by decree; to constitute by edict; to appoint by decree or law; to determine; to order; to ordain; as, a court decrees a restoration of property.
Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee.
To ordain by fate.
To make decrees; - used absolutely.
Father eternal! thine is to decree;Mine, both in heaven and earth to do thy will.
A legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge);
A friend in New Mexico said that the order caused no trouble out there
Issue a decree;
The King only can decree
Decide with authority;
The King decreed that all first-born males should be killed
A decision given by those in power.
The council's Decree changed the city's zoning rules.
What is the main difference between a Decree and Legislation?
A Decree is an official order from an authority, while Legislation refers to laws made by a legislative body.
Is all Legislation permanent?
No, some Legislation can be temporary, but most are designed to be long-standing until amended or repealed.
Who can issue a Decree?
Decrees can be issued by authority figures like monarchs, governors, or courts.
Can one piece of Legislation amend another?
Yes, new Legislation can be drafted to amend, revise, or repeal existing laws.
How is Legislation typically passed?
Through a process involving readings, debates, amendments, and votes by a legislative body.
Can citizens influence a Decree?
Typically, Decrees are top-down decisions, but public opinion might indirectly influence them.
Is a Decree always legally binding?
In most contexts, yes, but the enforcement and implications can vary based on the jurisdiction.
How is a Decree different from an executive order?
Both are directives, but an executive order is a specific form of Decree typically issued by a president or governor.
Can a Decree override existing Legislation?
It depends on the jurisdiction; in some cases, a Decree might have the power to override or bypass Legislation.
Are Decrees common in democracies?
While more common in autocratic systems, some democratic systems also have mechanisms for Decrees under specific conditions.
Do Decrees need legislative approval?
Generally, no. Decrees are often standalone directives from an authority.
How can citizens influence Legislation?
Through voting, petitions, lobbying, or direct communication with their elected representatives.
Are there limits to what Legislation can cover?
Yes, Legislation is typically bound by a country's constitution or fundamental laws.
What happens if Legislation is deemed unconstitutional?
It can be struck down or invalidated by a judiciary or constitutional court.
Which has a broader impact, Decree or Legislation?
Legislation usually has a broader and more lasting impact, but Decrees can be significant in specific situations.
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.