Distinguishing Between Acts & Regulations

Act vs Regulation

Understanding the difference between act and regulation can be difficult as they are closely related. In every country, there is a legislative body responsible for making laws that apply to all citizens or specific sections of society. Act and regulation are two legal terms that are often mentioned in the media and newspapers, but many people do not understand the details that differentiate these two concepts. Some may think that an act and a regulation are the same and interchangeable; however, this is not true, and this article will clarify the differences between an act and a regulation in simple terms.

What is an Act?

An Act is a piece of legislation that is more specific and applies to particular circumstances and specific individuals. The term legislation refers to Acts of parliament and subordinate or delegated legislation made under Acts of parliament. Members of parliament, known as legislators, are the ones who make laws. Together, legislators from the ruling party and opposition form the legislature, which is the body responsible for making and passing laws.

An Act is a public document and is open for all to see. It applies to all citizens, who have a right to know about its provisions. An Act consists of rules and regulations, containing provisions designed to implement a particular policy. It may deal with matters of public importance or pertain to national security.

For example, there is an Act called DUI (Driving Under Influence), which states that a person caught driving while intoxicated should be punished.

What is a Regulation?

Regulations, on the other hand, are subordinate legislation associated with most Acts. Acts usually contain a section at the end that provides general regulations regarding the application of the Act in different situations. Regulations offer more detail about a statute or Act and comply with the conditions set out under the Act. They are consistent with the purpose and intent of the principal Act, and are based upon it, making it easier for people to follow an Act.

For example, the DUI Act’s regulations detail how it is enforced, the specific situations it covers, and the punishments that can be given.

In the European Union, a regulation is a legal act of the Union, which becomes valid to be enforced in all its member states simultaneously.

Key Takeaways

  • An Act is a Bill that has been enacted by parliament and approved by the President, while regulations are subordinate legislation associated with most Acts.
  • While an Act introduces a new piece of law, regulations explain how that law is implemented and provide details of the Act.
  • In the European Union, a regulation is a legal act of the Union that can be applied to all member countries at the same time.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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