Difference Between Law and Regulation

Law vs Regulation

In every society or culture, law is devised as a system of written rules enforceable by courts to ensure compliance to actions and behaviors that are acceptable and legal. Laws are similar to morals that are codes of conduct regarding right and wrong with the added force of police and courts behind them. There is another concept called regulation that is confusing for many as it relates to law and is very similar to the concept of law. Despite the similarities and overlapping, there are subtle differences that will be highlighted in this article.


Before the advent of civilization, the fear of the supernatural and God was designed to keep people confined to behaviors and actions that were desirable and acceptable. Some of the actions were deemed as taboos that were meant to keep people away from certain objects and actions. Later, the concept of religion was used to devise a code of conduct called social norms and members of the society knew what was right and wrong to stick to certain desirable and acceptable behaviors. Law is the system of written rules and regulations that are meant to maintain peace and order in the society. These laws originate mostly from the constitution of a country. However, the secondary source of laws is the legislative assembly of the country where elected legislators introduce, debate, and passes legislations that become laws after getting assent of the President. A law has to be abided by all the citizens of a country, and there is no exception to this rule.


Regulations are details that are added by executive agencies and departments to the laws. This is done to apply or put into practice the laws made by the legislative assembly. Regulations are also enforceable like laws but remain subordinate to them. The laws of the land are made by the legislative branch of a government while regulations are made by its executive branch, to make the implementation of these laws easier. Many laws are simple enough to understand and do not require details attached to them.

What is the difference between Law and Regulation?

• Laws originate in the legislative assembly whereas regulations originate in administrative agencies and departments.

• Regulations are subordinate to the laws though they are enforceable just like laws.

• Regulations are introduced to help in the implementation of laws.