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Difference between Act and Rule



An Act is said to be primary legislation. It is the ‘law’ that the legislature has passed into the law of the land. The word “Act” is used in most of the Common Law countries, whereas it tends to be just “Law” in most Civil Code countries.


The act is defined as the legislation which will be passed by both of the Houses of Parliament. It will be approved by the President to become a law and then it is termed as ACT. In other words, bills will be passed in Parliament and will become the ACT. The act is the intention of the law that describes the applicability, definitions governing provisions and fines and the way it is to be given.


The act is passed by the legislature. It is also called as a statute. Most of the laws are not complete code in themselves, i.e. certain provisions as to their application or enforcement etc will be deliberately left out by the legislature. That is where rules come into the picture.




A Rule, a Regulation, an Order, are always in the secondary legislation. It is the ‘law’ to fine tunes the operational aspects of the primary legislation, and the rules are enacted into operation by the government or ministries rather than the legislature. The rules will be in their authority of the primary legislation.


Rules contained in the standard methods and procedures which will be related to a provision which is contained in the act. It will be framed by the powers given in the act.


Rules help to govern the law. They will be secondary in nature, in the sense they don’t have an independent existence of their own. They are made to make the parent Act work. The rules must be provided for the information which is not given in the Act, however, Rules by no means can go beyond the power conferred by the Act, or extend the same.

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