The main difference between rules and regulations is that the term rules can be used in a general sense meaning statements or guidelines that can be followed whereas regulations are standard laws or statutes that concern a certain law. Hence, the term regulations mean rules concerned with a specific law under legislature.
Rules and regulations are inter-related words, and in most cases, these two words are used synonymously. However, under the law, a clear distinction can be drawn between these two words.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Rules
– Definition, Nature, Usage
2. What are Regulations
– Definition, Nature, Usage
3. What are the Similarities Between Rules and Regulations
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Rules and Regulations
– Comparison of Key Differences
Law, Rules, Regulations, Policies, Politics
What are Rules
Rules, by definition, refer to certain guidelines, statement or instructions to be followed when doing something correctly. However, this term cannot be used with regard to legal policies. Hence, rules explain general guidelines or principles to be followed in order to accomplish something in the most desired manner.
Merriam Webster defines rules as “a prescribed guide for conduct or action, a regulating principle”. For instance, in a game, the referees, the players, and even the spectators should be aware of the rules of the game. Similarly, the employees of a company should be aware of the company rules. Moreover, these rules are conditional, meaning they are flexible and can be adjusted accordingly, unlike regulations.
Also, the term rules is used under the law to mean “a regulation or by-law governing procedure or controlling conduct”. Here, rules describe the regulations or the principles prescribed by law. In this sense, rule describes the meaning of regulations.
Thus, the term rules can be used both in a general sense as well as in a legal sense. However, when used in a legal sense, rules describe what regulations mean, and the term regulations should be used instead of rules.
What are Regulations
Regulations, by definition, means a standard statement or a statute concerning a legal policy or procedure. In other words, it means legal rules to carry out a specific piece of legislation.
Merriam Webster describes regulations as “a rule or order issued by an executive authority or regulatory agency of a government and having the force of law”. Therefore, regulations describe the laws or statutes issued by the executive authority of a state/country. The citizens are bound to follow these regulations as it is mandatory of everyone.
Likewise, regulations are detailed instructions on how specific laws are enforced and carried out accordingly. They are, therefore, administrative laws and the application of these regulations is mandatory. Hence, these statements or regulations carry the force of law.
Similarities Between Rules and Regulations
- Both Rules and regulations explain specific guidelines or statements to be followed.
- Also, both should be followed in order not to face penalties or legal punishments.
Difference Between Rules and Regulations
Rules refer to prescribed guidelines for conduct/action or regulating principles whereas regulations refer to rules or orders issued by an executive authority or regulatory agency of a government and having the force of law. Thus, this is the main difference between rules and regulations.
The term rules can be used in a general sense whereas regulations can only be used in a legal sense. In other words, regulations are rules in law. This is a major difference between rules and regulations.
Another difference between rules and regulations is that rules can be adjusted accordingly whereas regulations are rigid and can not be altered or adjusted unless by the legislature.
Moreover, rules can be enforced by authorities of the specific organizations, social structure, etc. while regulations are issued by the executive authorities or the government of the country.
The two terms rules and regulations are most often used interchangeably, yet there is a distinct difference between rules and regulations in their proper applications. While rules describe statements or guidelines that can be followed in a general sense, regulations are standard laws or statutes that concern a certain law. Thus, rules explain a general sense whereas regulations explain a legal sense. This is the difference between rules and regulations.
1. “Safety rules (13267742574)” By Matt Brown from London, England – Safety rules (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Hospital rules & regulations” By Marcin Wichary (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
3. “Regulations” (CC BY-SA 3.0) via the Blue Diamond Gallery