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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 ?
While enumerating the year-by-year achievements of the king, the edict points out the destruction of a market town called Pithudam: .
The edicts are loud and clear and speak for themselves.
Under the sixth edict, Cabinet Affairs Ministry director of information and computers Nizar Mroof Omar has been transferred to the e-Government Authority (eGA) as director of strategies directorate and re-engineering electronic procedures and Ahmed Mohammed Buhazz has been appointed director of electronic services and channels development at the authority.
She sees the edict as a practical implementation of a consistent theology of Jews and Judaism in place in the church for hundreds of years.
He said the adoption of the edict was based on the emergence of differences in opinions on whether smoking for Muslims was allowed or forbidden.
Other EDICT initiatives include the CLAS-ACT (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services and Clinical Trials) to help researchers determine how well they incorporate CLAS standards in designing new trials and recruiting minorities and the EDICT BackPack, which makes available projects, programs, and best practices to address the recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations in clinical trials.
The edict drove Zaira, after consultations with rabbis and other organizers, to cancel the show for fear that making it a men-only event would insult religious women.
The Edict in-store e-mail solution from Torex Retail, a provider of retail technology solutions, has been selected by fashion retailer the Reiss Group.
This edict gives immunity to American and foreign contractors from Iraqi law while making Iraqis driving without licenses subject to jail time.
Implementing the edict could prove to be financially costly as well as politically, socially and religiously divisive.
On September 11, 1914, the French colonial rulers of Morocco issued an edict placing Morocco's Middle Atlas Berbers under French legal jurisdiction as part of a larger policy intended to de-Islamify the Berbers and assimilate them into Western culture.
They were to be always referred to in legal and royal documents, including the Edict of Nantes, as the religion pretendue reformde.