Differences between Decree Law and Legislative Decree

We can say that, in the legal system, there are different types of laws or regulations dictated by the Executive Power (Government). Both the decree law and the legislative decree are regulations with the force of law. They are called that because they are not laws per se, since a law is a legal norm that can only be approved by Congress and promulgated by the President of the Republic in use of his powers.

In the same order of ideas, the characteristics and applications of the decree law and the legislative decree will be described in this article, as well as the fundamental differences that exist between each of them for the consideration of the readers.

📌 What is a Decree Law?

A decree law is a norm with the rank of law, issued by the Executive Power, without the intervention or prior authorization of a congress or parliament. For this reason, it is an absolutely extraordinary norm that, generally, is regulated in the national constitution of each country.

In this sense, a decree law is issued by the Executive Power (President) in cases of extraordinary and urgent need for a provisional time, which will be evaluated by the congress or parliament in a period after its promulgation with the intention of approving it or repeal it. Thus, if approved, a decree law does not become law, since it continues to have certain limitations since its enactment, such as its cause, subject matter and effectiveness.

It is worth noting that the decree laws may not affect the ordering of the organizations and basic institutions of the state or the rights, duties and freedoms of citizens. In some countries governed by parliamentary monarchies, the decree laws are called Royal Decree Law, since they are sanctioned and promulgated by the King or Queen, as Head of State.

📌 What is a Legislative Decree?

A legislative decree is a legal norm with the rank of law that emanates from the Executive Power by virtue of an express delegation made by the legislative power. In other words, the decree law is issued by the Executive Power only by delegation of the Legislative Power, that is, the Congress delegates to the Executive Power (President) the power to legislate on specific matters, in order to approve legal devices quickly and only in certain matters and for a certain period.

On the other hand, legislative decrees can be reversed in two ways, either through an ordinary law (to consolidate legal texts) or through a basic law (to make a new text). Likewise, it has its function in various areas both for the preparation of articulated texts, having previously approved by parliament a basic law that serves as a reference and limit framework and for the preparation of consolidated texts of various laws favoring the compilation of different scattered legal norms .

To conclude, the legislative decree is issued autonomously and does not require approval or repeal by Congress. In some countries governed by parliamentary monarchies, legislative decrees are called Royal Legislative Decree, since they are approved by the Government under prior express delegation of the Cortes.

📌Differences between Decree Law and Legislative Decree

  • The Decree Law is a norm with the rank of law, emanating from the Executive Power (President), without the intervention or prior authorization of a Congress or Parliament, while a Legislative Decree is a legal norm with the rank of law that emanates from the Power Executive by virtue of express delegation made by the Legislative Power.
  • The Decree Law will be evaluated by the congress or parliament in a period after its promulgation with the intention of approving or repealing it, while the Legislative Decree can be reversed through an ordinary law or through a basic law.

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