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A decree or law of major import promulgated by a king, queen, or other sovereign of a government.

An edict can be distinguished from a public proclamation in that an edict puts a new statute into effect whereas a public proclamation is no more than a declaration of a law prior to its actual enactment.

Under Roman Law, an edict had different meanings. It was usually a mandate published under the authority of a ruler that commanded the observance of various rules or injunctions. Sometimes, however, an edict was a citation to appear before a judge.


noun authoritative command, canon, command, consultum, declaration, decree, decretum, dictate, edictum, enactment, fiat, judgment, law, legislation, mandate, order, ordinance, precept, pronouncement, regulation, regulation by law, regulation by statute, rule, ruling, statute
See also: act, adjudication, award, brevet, canon, constitution, declaration, decree, dictate, direction, directive, enactment, fiat, mandate, measure, mittimus, monition, order, ordinance, precept, prescription, proclamation, pronouncement, regulation, requirement, rule, ruling, sentence, statute, warrant

EDICT. A law ordained by the sovereign, by which he forbids or commands something it extends either to the whole country, or only to some particular provinces.
     2. Edicts are somewhat similar to public proclamations. Their difference consists in this, that the former have authority and form of law in themselves, whereas the latter are at most, declarations of a law, before enacted by congress, or the legislature.
     3. Among the Romans this word sometimes signified, a citation to appear before a judge. The edict of the emperors, also called constitutiones principum, were new laws which they made of their own motion, either to decide cases which they had foreseen, or to abolish or change some ancient laws. They were different from their rescripts or decrees. These edicts were the sources which contributed to the formation of the Gregorian, Hermogenian, Theodosian, and Justinian Codes. Vide Dig. 1, 4, 1, 1; Inst. 1, 2, 7; Code, 1, 1 Nov. 139.

References in periodicals archive ?
This has led to a debate as to who can or should be able to issue a fatwa amid an increase in the number of unconventional edicts that have confused, and at times incited Muslims.
An edict should be based on knowledge, logic and reason," she said.
According to the state news agency, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa's fatwa, or religious edict, came in response to reports that some groups have sanctioned the use of weapons of mass destruction against non-Muslim nations.
Dr Mohammed Matar Al Qaabi, Director-General of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Awqaf, said that the edicts using SMS has been proven very popular because of its brevity, speed and effectiveness.
The sakoku edicts were those policies adopted by the Japanese government during the 17th century that resulted in the international perception that Japan was a "closed country.
The second edict deals with naming the relevant administrative body and the minister for societies, places of accommodations, cultural and social clubs for foreign communities which are established by private authorities and companies, as well as the private institutions including defining their scopes.
Tulpule have noted several inscribed as well as pictographic ass curse edicts that were commissioned by rulers of various dynasties that once held sway over parts of Maharashtra.
She chronicled events as the Taliban's military hold on the area intensified and they issued edicts banning women from going shopping and limiting their education.
HIS Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa issued three key edicts yesterday.
It is really sad to note such edicts being issued by various top religious bodies across the Muslim world.
Manama, July 5 (BNA): His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa today issued three edicts.
Manama, April 26 (BNA) His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa issued today three ministerial edicts 24, 25 and 26 for 2011.