The 5 differences between law and decree and how they govern society

Legal rules are the set of rules enacted by the authority attributed to certain institutions by the State. so that they regulate and organize the functioning of society. The most well-known type of legal rule is law, but in addition to that, it is not uncommon to hear about other types of rules and regulations such as decrees.

For people outside the legal world, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the two concepts. This is why in this article we present to you the main differences between law and decree.

    Analyze the two concepts

    Before establishing the differences between law and decree, we will look at a brief definition of each in order to understand its concept and as a basic introduction to its differences.

    We understand by law a type of legal norm of obligatory fulfillment that tries to regulate the action of the human being in society. The law establishes all the obligations and rights of all citizens in general, without exception, and non-compliance leads to penalties even if it is due to ignorance. It is the type of superior, absolute legal norm. Laws are advocated and ratified by the legislature, and must be passed by Congress to be enforced.

    As for the decree, it is about another type of legal standard that usually sets out how the law is applied, Generally generating regulation. This is a subtype of legal standard with which it is also mandatory, although it can be changed and in fact has to be done in order to follow current legislation.

    The drafting of decrees is generally due to the urgent need to resolve a given situation urgently. The government is in charge of its development and implementation. In the event that a decree wants to be transformed into law, it must be ratified by Congress.

      Main differences between law and decree

      The law and the decree have several similarities, as we can deduce from their definition. However, it is also possible to observe the existence of large differences, which we will analyze below.

      1. Body or power that delivers it

      One of the points where the law and the decree differ is the type of organ or power that issues or dictates it, which in turn will give them other differential characteristics. The law has always been drafted and ratified by the legislator. However, in the case of the decree, it is proposed and applied by the executive power (ie the government).

        2. Content

        Although the main purpose of both concepts is to govern and manage the behavior and functioning of society, the truth is that the law and the decree tend to differ slightly in terms of content. While the law defines what must and must not be done, the decree indicates how it must be done.

        The decree aims to deal with an emergency situation and establish how to act and the rules and regulations to be followed in this situation (they can be considered as a regulation).

        3. Level of generalization

        Laws are enacted with the intention of governing and organizing the performance of society as a whole, affecting various situations and actions. However, the decree it is written to deal with a specific situation that needs to be resolved quickly.

        4. Hierarchical arrangement

        The law and the decree, as legal norms that are, must be respected and respected. However, they do not maintain a relationship of equality: in the hierarchy of legal norms we would first find the law and just after it the decrees (Unless it is a decree-law, in this case it would have the same rank as the law).

        The decree can never contradict the law, and must be repealed or amended in the event of a change or new law in contradiction with the decree.

        5. Stability or temporality

        Likewise, although laws and decrees can be changed, they have different levels of stability. A decree is generally temporary to deal with the situation that generates it. However a law it is made with the intention to last over time, Requiring for its modification or withdrawal that other laws cancel or replace it.

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