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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 ?
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.
Asoka was meticulous in making Dharma concrete in the domain of human relations, which is obvious in several of his edicts.
The first article of this edict stipulates that the Social Development Ministry is the relevant administrative body and the Social Development Minister the relevant minister.
The impact of 'satellite fatwas' was the topic of discussion at one of the sessions of the Arab media forum yesterday with religious scholars and media specialists debating at length on the ambit of such edicts.
The cleric, in his 70s, said authorities had questioned him several times over the edict, which was issued before the strikes began but referred to the possibility of such attacks.
Just in time for the Christian commemoration of the virgin birth, the 60-page edict, entitled Human Sexuality: Truth and Significance, expands and elaborates on the 1968 Humanae Vitae encyclical banning birth control.
Visions of the Enlightenment; the Edict on Religion of 1788 and the politics of the public sphere in eighteenth-century Prussia.
Dubai: Religious edicts calling for death to violators of Islamic rules as interpreted by some clerics invariably comes up as a topic of public discussion these days.
One of those edicts, according to an article in The Washington Post, established five-year terms of office for Iraq's national security adviser and national intelligence chief.
Clara operated the press, the only one in Trino, from 1579 to 1595, printing official edicts for the Gonzaga dukes.
A DECISION to write off outstanding utility bills and municipal fees of the deceased was among five edicts issued yesterday by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.