Act vs. Law

Difference Between Act and Law

Common man knows what a law is. Law is a part of legislation which is applied on the people who in turn follow it. Elected members of the parliament make the laws of a country. Many people believe that laws and acts are the same thing. They cannot differentiate them. They use them interchangeably. Let us try to understand the difference between the two.

Law is a system which contains regulations and norms which are formed to run a government or govern the people of a country or the State. They are necessary to help their conduct in the society. The aim of the law of the land is to keep the social order intact and avoid anarchy. The freedom and duties go side by side. If a person wants freedom for himself, he must respect the freedom of others. Thus laws are essential for both. Without the law public order cannot be maintained. Act on the other hand is part of legislation which is more specific and used in special circumstances on specific people. For example, there is Act against smoking in public places. If a person, who is smoking at a public place is subjected to punishment as per the Act. This Act has nothing to do with a person who does not smoke at all. Thus Acts apply on specific people in specific circumstance.

Laws are made to safeguard people. Acts are formed by the parliament to let the people know about the provisions. Law in itself is a comprehensive term. It tells how and why public need to follow these laws.

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