Difference between Legislation and Regulation

Key Difference: Legislation is another term meaning statutory law. These laws have been enacted by a legislature or the governing body of a country. Legislation can also mean the process of making the law. Regulations can be used define two things; a process of monitoring and enforcing legislations and a written instrument containing rules that have law on them.

Legislation and regulation are two terms that often confuse people that are not well-versed with law terminologies. Law is one of the most complicated subjects and has various different terms and words that often mean different things in different contexts. These two words are a type of those words. Legislation refers to the laws that are enacted by the legislature or a law that is in process of being enacted, while regulations are the process of monitoring and enforcing a law as well as a document that contains the details of a written rule. These two should not be confused as they are completely different from each other.

Legislation is another term meaning statutory law. These laws have been enacted by a legislature or the governing body of a country. Legislation can also mean the process of making the law. Let’s first understand how a law is made. The law starts off with being an idea. The idea is then put down a piece of paper, which is known as a bill. This bill goes then goes to the legislative branch, who will vote either to approve or reject the bill. If the bill is approved, it then goes to the regulatory branch, which is responsible for writing out the details of the bill and the implementation process. This bill then becomes a law. This process varies depending upon the countries. Under the Westminster system, the primary legislation, after it is approved is known as an Act of Parliament. The term ‘legislation’ may also include other forms of law making such as referendums, constitutional conventions, orders in council or regulations. However, the term primary legislation can exclude these laws.

Dictionary.com defines ‘legislation’ as:

  • The act of making or enacting laws.
  • A law or a body of laws enacted.

Regulations can be used define two things; a process of monitoring and enforcing legislations and a written instrument containing rules that have law on them. David Levi-Faur’s Regulation and Regulatory Governance, Jerusalem Papers in Regulation and Governance states that regulation creates, limits, or constrains a right, creates or limits a duty, or allocates a responsibility. It can come in many forms including legal restrictions, contractual obligations, self-regulation, co-regulation, third-party regulation, certification, accreditation or market regulation. Regulation is basically ensuring that a law or legislation is put into effect and the details of how it is put into effect. The regulations are the responsibility of the executive branch.

Dictionary.com defines ‘regulation’ as:

  • A law, rule, or other order prescribed by authority, especially to regulate conduct.
  • The act of regulating or the state of being regulated.
  • A governmental or ministerial order having the force of law
  • As required by official rules or procedure

Legislations and regulations are quite different from each other. While, the legislations are passed by the government or legislature, it falls up to regulations to ensure and enforce the law. It has the ability to maintain and regulate the laws that govern the people.

Image Courtesy: totalenvironmental.co.uk, mymortgagerevolution.ca

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