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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 ?
The ambassador called reports likening the edict to one in Hitler's Germany requiring Jews to wear the Star of David as misinterpreting the Taliban edict because of ''ignorance or for political reasons.
You may learn more about EDICT Systems by visiting their web sites at www.
Manama, June 29 (BNA): In line with the directives of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa to alleviate the burden of living and in accordance with the Cabinet resolution equalising Bahraini tenants with homeowners regarding municipal fees; the Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, Essam bin Abdullah Khalaf, issued Ministerial Edicts 39, 40 and 41/2015 canceling and/or reducing municipal charges from 1116 Bahraini families who do not own a private home and who live in rented property.
The fifth edict restructured the National Committee for Prevention of Aids presided over by the Health Minister.
But by handing a sweetheart deal to the union, Romer now finds himself resorting to ineffective edicts as his only hope for turning the LAUSD around.
Mutwaakal assured Lafrance that Matsuura's message would be conveyed to Umer though he saw no chance of the edict to destroy the statues being reversed, AIP said.
EDICT Systems is currently working on increasing grocery retailer support on www.
Manama, June 11 (BNA): His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa today issued Edicts 39, 40 for 2015.
The edict said that contractors will be allowed to transport the debris and rubble amassed from digging works prior to the edict to the dumping locations as agreed with council.
Lafrance asked Mutwakkal to convey Matsuura's message to Umer seeking the reversal of the edict, AIP said.
It is hereby forbidden to die in Lanjaron,'' the edict added.
The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 enshrined this confessional partisanship into a sweeping royal edict that effectively stripped resident Huguenots of their standing as citizens, with all the liabilities that entailed regarding marriage, property, and officeholding.