If you have been struggling to understand the difference between Decree and Edict, then you are in the right place. This article explains the meaning and differences between a decree and an edict. In order to get the information passed through this article I also encourage you to read till the end. Trust me, I will be as explicit as possible in explaining the two.
Every polity, state or nation has a means and a system of making and promulgating rules that regulate and guide the conduct of human and the society at large. Many states and countries in the globe have experienced one political crisis or another. Consequently, they faced various system of government and different methods of making laws.
Under the military rule, decrees and edicts are the only means or medium of enacting statute. The process of making law in a democratic or a civilian rule is quite different from the process of making laws in a military regime or military government.
In a civilian rule, laws are first brought to a representative of the people in the parliament as proposal, and the representative of the people in turn, present those proposals to the parliament as a bill. This bill pass through different stages before it becomes a law.
The stage include: (i) first reading (ii) second reading (iii) committee stage (iii) report of committee (iv) third reading and (v) the presidential assent.
However, these stages do not apply in the military regime where decrees and edicts are the rules of conduct.
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Difference between decree and edicts
A decree can be defined as an official and express order which has the back up or the force of law. A decree is usually made by a head of state, following some certain established pattern, method or procedure. In addition, decrees are federal laws made in military government.
On the other hand, edict could be seen as laws made by military government at the state level by the administrator. It is often said that edict and public proclamation are the same. However, an edict could be differentiated from public proclamation in the the sense that while an edict puts a new law or statute into effect, a public proclamation declares a statute or law in advance or before it is passed to law.
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Basically, most military regime come by forceful seizure of power from the civilian government through coup dètats. When governmental power has been forcefully seized, the military in the federal level institutes decrees in suspension of the constitution and also the edicts as made laws or statutes in the state level.
Under military rule, the decree is supreme and the top most of all the laws in the land. Also, edict which is an enactment by the state military government is a subordinate to the constitution in military regime.
More so, Decree is also used by the military government to ouster the jurisdiction of courts in some fundamental issues or matters via ouster clauses. It is also pertinent to know that in the military rule or regime, the decree precedes over all laws, even the constitution.
Here, the military makes a decree without subjecting their intention to any debate and this is seen as a danger of a decree, as the military do not care to know what the feelings and suggestions of the people are.
In conclusion, the difference between decree and edict are not much. They could be seen as almost the same thing . However, a decree is a supreme law made by the military government in the federal level, while an edict is a statute pronounced by the military government at the state level. Hence, while a decree in military regime is supreme over the constitution, an edict is a subordinate to the constitution.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ChMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.