A decree is a rule of law usually issued by a head of state (such as the president of a republic or a monarch), according to certain procedures (usually established in a constitution). It has the force of law. The particular term used for this concept may vary from country to country. The executive orders made by the President of the United States, for example, are decrees (although a decree is not exactly an order). In non-legal English usage, however, the term refers to any authoritarian decision. Documents or archives in the format of royal decrees or farming were issued by rulers.
The word décret, literally "decree", is an old legal usage in France and is used to refer to executive orders issued by the French President or Prime Minister. Any such order must not violate the French Constitution or Civil Code, and a party has the right to request an order be annulled in the French Council of State. Orders must be ratified by Parliament before they can be modified into legislative Acts. Special orders known as décret-loi, literally "decree-act" or "decree-law", usually considered an illegal practice under the 3rd and 4th Republic, were finally abolished and replaced by the ordinances under the 1958 Constitution.
Except for the reserve powers of the President (as stated in Art. 16 of the 1958 Constitution, exercised only once so far), the executive can issue decrees in areas that the Constitution grants as the responsibility of Parliament only if a law authorizes it to do so. In other cases, orders are illegal and, should anyone sue for the order's annulment, it would be voided by the Council of State. There exists a procedure for the Prime Minister to issue ordinances in such areas, but this procedure requires Parliament's express consent (see Art 38 of the 1958 Constitution).
Orders issued by the Prime Minister take two forms:
Sometimes, people refer to décrets en Conseil d'État improperly as décrets du Conseil d'État. This would imply that it is the Council of State that takes the decree, whereas the power of decreeing is restricted to the president or prime minister; the role of the administrative sections of the Council is purely advisory.
Decrees may be classified into:
Only the prime minister may issue regulatory or application decrees. Presidential decrees are generally nominations or exceptional measures where law mandates a presidential decree, such as the dissolution of the French National Assembly and the calling of new legislative elections.
Decrees are published in the Journal Officiel de la République Française or "French Gazette".
A decree (Latin: decretum) in the usage of the canon law of the Catholic Church has various meanings. Any papal bull, brief, or motu proprio is a decree inasmuch as these documents are legislative acts of the pope. In this sense the term is quite ancient. The Roman Congregations were formerly empowered to issue decrees in matters which come under their particular jurisdiction, but were forbidden from continuing to do so under Pope Benedict XV in 1917. Each ecclesiastical province and also each diocese may issue decrees in their periodical synods within their sphere of authority.
While in a general sense all documents promulgated by an ecumenical council can be called decrees. in a specific sense some of these documents, as at the Second Vatican Council, were called more precisely constitutions or declarations.
Canon 29 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law offers a definition of general decrees:
General decrees, by which a competent legislator makes common provisions for a community capable of receiving a law, are true laws and are regulated by the provisions of the canons on laws.
According clause 77 of the Italian Constitution, "The Government may not, without an enabling act from the Houses, issue decrees having the force of ordinary law. When in extraordinary cases of necessity and urgency the Government adopts provisional measures having the force of law, it must on the same day present said measures for confirmation to the Houses which, even if dissolved, shall be summoned especially for this purpose and shall convene within five days. The decrees lose effect from their inception if they are not confirmed within sixty days from their publication. The Houses may however regulate by law legal relationships arising out of not confirmed decrees."
The effectiveness for sixty days produces the effects immediately, giving rights or expectations whose legal basis was in fact precarious, especially when the conversion law never intervened.
In Portugal, there are several types of decrees (Portuguese: decretos, singular Portuguese: decreto) issued by the various bodies of sovereignty or by the bodies of self-government of autonomous regions.
Currently, there are the following types of decrees:
After the Russian Revolution, a government proclamation of wide meaning was called a "decree" (Russian: декрет, dekret); more specific proclamations were called ukaz. Both terms are usually translated as 'decree'.
According to the Russian Federation's 1993 constitution, an Ukaz is a Presidential decree. Such ukazes have the power of laws, but may not alter the Russian constitution or the regulations of existing laws, and may be superseded by laws passed by the Federal Assembly.
The Government of Russia can also issue decrees formally called Decisions (Постановления) or Orders (Распоряжения) and may not contradict the constitution/laws or presidential decrees.
Royal decrees are the source of law in Saudi Arabia.
In Spain, decrees come in a number of forms:
In the United Kingdom, Orders-in-Council are either primary legislation deriving their authority from the Royal Prerogative, promulgated by the Privy Council in the name of the Monarch; or secondary legislation, promulgated by a Minister of the Crown using authority granted by an Act of Parliament or other primary legislation. Both are subject to judicial review, the former with some exceptions.
In US legal usage, during the 19th and early 20th centuries, a decree was an order of a court of equity determining the rights of the parties to a suit, according to equity and good conscience. Since the 1938 procedural merger of law and equity in the federal courts under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the term judgment (the parallel term in common law) has generally replaced decree. This is now true also in most state courts. The term decree has had a similar usage in admiralty, probate, and divorce law.
A decree is often a final determination, but there are also interlocutory decrees. A final decree fully and finally disposes of the whole litigation, determining all questions raised by the case, and it leaves nothing that requires further judicial action; it is also appealable. An interlocutory decree is a provisional or preliminary decree that is not final and does not fully determine the suit, so that some further proceedings are required before entry of a final decree. It is usually not appealable, although preliminary injunctions by federal courts are appealable even though interlocutory.
Executive orders, which are instructions from the President to the executive branch of government, are decrees in the general sense in that they have the force of law, although they cannot override statute law or the Constitution and are subject to judicial review.
All external sites in French unless otherwise noted.Alhambra Decree
The Alhambra Decree (also known as the Edict of Expulsion; Spanish: Decreto de la Alhambra, Edicto de Granada) was an edict issued on 31 March 1492, by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain (Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon) ordering the expulsion of practicing Jews from the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon and its territories and possessions by 31 July of that year. The primary purpose was to eliminate their influence on Spain's large converso population and ensure they did not revert to Judaism. Over half of Spain's Jews had converted as a result of the religious persecution and pogroms which occurred in 1391. Due to continuing attacks, around 50,000 more had converted by 1415. A further number of those remaining chose to convert to avoid expulsion. As a result of the Alhambra decree and persecution in prior years, over 200,000 Jews converted to Catholicism and between 40,000 and 100,000 were expelled, an indeterminate number returning to Spain in the years following the expulsion.:17The edict was formally and symbolically revoked on 16 December 1968, following the Second Vatican Council. This was a full century after Jews had been openly practicing their religion in Spain and synagogues were once more legal places of worship under Spain's Laws of Religious Freedom.
In 1924, the regime of Primo de Rivera granted Spanish citizenship to the entire Sephardic Jewish diaspora. In 2014, the government of Spain passed a law allowing dual citizenship to Jewish descendants who apply, to "compensate for shameful events in the country's past." Thus, Sephardi Jews who can prove they are the descendants of those Jews expelled from Spain because of the Alhambra Decree can "become Spaniards without leaving home or giving up their present nationality."Consent decree
A consent decree is an agreement or settlement that resolves a dispute between two parties without admission of guilt (in a criminal case) or liability (in a civil case), and most often refers to such a type of settlement in the United States. The plaintiff and the defendant ask the court to enter into their agreement, and the court maintains supervision over the implementation of the decree in monetary exchanges or restructured interactions between parties. It is similar to and sometimes referred to as an antitrust decree, stipulated judgment, settlement agreements, or consent judgment. Consent decrees are frequently used by federal courts to ensure that businesses and industries adhere to regulatory laws in areas such as antitrust law, employment discrimination, and environmental regulation.Council of Jerusalem
The Council of Jerusalem or Apostolic Council was held in Jerusalem around AD 50. It is unique among the ancient pre-ecumenical councils in that it is considered by Catholics and Orthodox to be a prototype and forerunner of the later ecumenical councils and a key part of Christian ethics. The council decided that Gentile converts to Christianity were not obligated to keep most of the Law of Moses, including the rules concerning circumcision of males. The Council did, however, retain the prohibitions on eating blood, meat containing blood, and meat of animals not properly slain, and on fornication and idolatry, sometimes referred to as the Apostolic Decree or Jerusalem Quadrilateral.
Accounts of the council are found in Acts of the Apostles chapter 15 (in two different forms, the Alexandrian and Western versions) and also possibly in Paul's letter to the Galatians chapter 2. Some scholars dispute that Galatians 2 is about the Council of Jerusalem (notably because Galatians 2 describes a private meeting) while other scholars dispute the historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles.Decree nisi
A decree nisi or rule nisi (from Latin nisi, meaning 'unless') is a court order that will come into force at a future date unless a particular condition is met. Unless the condition is met, the ruling becomes a decree absolute (rule absolute), and is binding. Typically, the condition is that an adversely affected party provide satisfactory evidence or argument that the decree should not take effect (i.e. the decree takes effect unless the party shows that it should not). For that reason, a decree nisi may also be called a rule, order or decree to show cause.
Using the example of a divorce, the wording of such a decree is generally in the form of "that the marriage solemnized on (date) between AB and CD, be dissolved by reason of (grounds) UNLESS sufficient cause be shown to the court why this decree should not be made absolute within six weeks". This allows time for any party who objects to the divorce to come forward with those objections. When no objection is raised by either party, an automatic dissolution takes effect.
The term is used in many common law jurisdictions, but is more common in the United Kingdom than in the United States.Decretum Gelasianum
The Decretum Gelasianum or the Gelasian Decree is so named because it was traditionally thought to be a Decretal of the prolific Pope Gelasius I, bishop of Rome 492–496. The work reached its final form in a five-chapter text written by an anonymous scholar between 519 and 553, the second chapter of which is a list of books of Scripture presented as having been made Canonical by a Council of Rome under Pope Damasus I, bishop of Rome 366–383. This list, known as the Damasine List, represents the same canon as shown in the Council of Carthage Canon 24, 419 AD.Firman
A firman (Persian: فرمان farmân), or ferman (Turkish), at the constitutional level, was a royal mandate or decree issued by a sovereign in an Islamic state, namely the Ottoman Empire. During various periods they were collected and applied as traditional bodies of law. The word firman comes from Persian فرمان meaning "decree" or "order".
On a more practical level, a firman was, and may still be, any written permission granted by the appropriate Islamic official at any level of government. Westerners are perhaps most familiar with the permission to travel in a country, which typically could be purchased beforehand, or the permission to conduct scholarly investigation in the country, such as archaeological excavation. Firmans may or may not be combined with various sorts of passports.Flag of Spain
The flag of Spain (Spanish: Bandera de España), as it is defined in the Spanish Constitution of 1978, consists of three horizontal stripes: red, yellow and red, the yellow stripe being twice the size of each red stripe. Traditionally, the middle stripe was defined by the more archaic term of gualda, and hence the popular name rojigualda (red-weld).
The origin of the current flag of Spain is the naval ensign of 1785, Pabellón de la Marina de Guerra under Charles III of Spain. It was chosen by Charles III himself among 12 different flags designed by Antonio Valdés y Bazán (all projected flags were presented in a drawing which is in the Naval Museum of Madrid). The flag remained marine-focused for much of the next 50 years, flying over coastal fortresses, marine barracks and other naval property. During the Peninsular War the flag could also be found on marine regiments fighting inland. Not until 1820 was the first Spanish land unit (The La Princesa Regiment) provided with one and it was not until 1843 that Queen Isabella II of Spain made the flag official.Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the color scheme of the flag remained intact, with the exception of the Second Republic period (1931–1939); the only changes centered on the coat of arms.Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes), or simply the Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz), and its variants were the highest awards in the military and paramilitary forces of Nazi Germany during World War II.
The Knight's Cross was awarded for a wide range of reasons and across all ranks, from a senior commander for skilled leadership of his troops in battle to a low-ranking soldier for a single act of military valour. Presentations were made to members of the three military branches of the Wehrmacht (the Heer (army), the Kriegsmarine (navy) and the Luftwaffe (air Force), as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD—Reich Labour Service) and the Volkssturm (German national militia), along with personnel from other Axis powers.
The award was instituted on 1 September 1939, at the onset of the German invasion of Poland. A higher grade, the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross, was instituted in 1940. In 1941, two higher grades of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves were instituted: the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords and the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. At the end of 1944 the final grade, the Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, was created. Over 7,000 awards were made during the course of the war.Law of Suspects
Note: This decree should not be confused with the Law of General Security (French: Loi de sûreté générale), also known as the "Law of Suspects," adopted by Napoleon III in 1858 that allowed punishment for any prison action, and permitted the arrest and deportation, without judgment, of anyone convicted of political offenses after 1848.The Law of Suspects (French: Loi des suspects) was a decree passed by the French National Convention on 17 September 1793, during the French Revolution. Some historians consider this decree the start of 'the (Reign of) Terror' over France;
they argue that the decree marked a significant weakening of individual freedoms that led to "revolutionary paranoia" that swept the nation.The law ordered the arrest of all avowed enemies and suspected enemies of the Revolution, and specifically aimed at unsubmissive former nobles, émigrés, officials removed or suspended from office, officers suspected of treason, and hoarders of goods.
The following year, the decree was expanded and became more strict. Implementation of the law and arrests were entrusted to oversight committees, and not to the legal authorities. The decree also introduced the maxim that subjects had to prove their innocence, which was later extended by the Law of 22 Prairial (10 June 1794). The decree, with its effect of "Terror", lasted until 28 July 1794, when the decree fell into disuse after the fall of Maximilien Robespierre, the main architect of the Terror.Laylat al-Qadr
Laylat al-Qadr (from Arabic: لیلة القدر), variously rendered in English as the Night of Decree, Night of Power, Night of Value, Night of Destiny, or Night of Measures, is an Islamic belief the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is one of the nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. Muslims believe that on this night the blessings and mercy of God are abundant, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree is revealed to the angels who also descend to earth, specially the Angel Gabriel, referred to as "the Spirit", to perform every and any errand decreed by God. Islam holds that God Almighty alone answers our supplications and that He alone receives them and forgives humanity and gives them what they ask for and that on this particular night Muslims should actively seek God's forgiveness and engage in various acts of worship.Monarchy of Luxembourg
The Grand Duke of Luxembourg is the monarchical head of state of Luxembourg. Luxembourg has been a grand duchy since 15 March 1815, when it was elevated from a duchy, and was in personal union with the United Kingdom of the Netherlands until 1890 under the House of Orange-Nassau and is the world's only sovereign grand duchy. Since 1815, there have been nine monarchs of Luxembourg, including the incumbent, Henri.Moscow Time
Moscow Time (Russian: моско́вское вре́мя) is the time zone for the city of Moscow, Russia, and most of western Russia, including Saint Petersburg. It is the second-westernmost of the eleven time zones of Russia. It has been set to UTC+03:00 permanently on 26 October 2014; before that date it had been set to UTC+04:00 year-round since 27 March 2011.Moscow Time is used to schedule trains, ships, etc. throughout Russia, but airplane travel is scheduled using local time. Trains are going to follow local time by 1 August. Times in Russia are often announced throughout the country on radio stations as Moscow Time, which is also registered in telegrams, etc. Descriptions of time zones in Russia are often based on Moscow Time rather than UTC. For example, Yakutsk (UTC+09:00) is said to be MSK+6 in Russia.Murder by Decree
Murder by Decree is a 1979 British-Canadian mystery thriller film directed by Bob Clark. It features the Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who are embroiled in the investigation surrounding the real-life 1888 Whitechapel murders committed by "Jack the Ripper". Christopher Plummer plays Holmes and James Mason plays Watson. Though it features a similar premise, it is notably different in tone and result to A Study in Terror. It is loosely based on The Ripper File by Elwyn Jones and John Lloyd.
The film's premise of the plot behind the murders is influenced by the book, Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution, by Stephen Knight, who presumed that the killings were part of a Masonic plot. The original script contained the names of the historical suspects, Sir William Gull and John Netley. In the actual film, they are represented by fictional analogues; Thomas Spivy (Gull) and William Slade (Netley). This plot device was later used in other Jack the Ripper-themed fiction, including the graphic novel From Hell.Order of Friendship
The Order of Friendship (Russian: Орден Дружбы, Orden Druzhby) is a state decoration of the Russian Federation established by Boris Yeltsin by presidential decree 442 of 2 March 1994 to reward Russian and foreign nationals whose work, deeds and efforts have been aimed at the betterment of relations with the Russian Federation and its people. The design of order was created by Alexander Zhuk. Its statute was later amended by presidential decree 19 of 6 January 1999, presidential decree 1999 of 7 September 2010, presidential decree 1631 of 16 December 2011, and presidential decree 308 of 16 March 2012. It can trace its lineage to the Soviet Order of Friendship of Peoples, also designed by Alexander Zhuk.Order of the Red Star
The Order of the Red Star (Russian: Орден Краснoй Звезды) was a military decoration of the Soviet Union. It was established by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 6 April 1930 but its statute was only defined in decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 5 May 1930. That statute was amended by decrees of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 7 May 1936, of 19 June 1943, of 26 February 1946, of 15 October 1947, of 16 December 1947 and by decree No 1803-X of 28 March 1980.Papal bull
A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden seal (bulla) that was traditionally appended to the end in order to authenticate it.Predestination in Islam
Qadar (Arabic: قدر, transliterated qadar, meaning "fate", "divine fore-ordainment", "predestination," but literally "power") is the concept of divine destiny in Islam. It is one of Islam's six articles of faith, along with belief in the Oneness of Allah, the Revealed Books, the Prophets of Islam, the Day of Resurrection and Angels. This concept has also been mentioned in the Quran as the "Decree" of Allah.Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone is a granodiorite stele, found in 1799, inscribed with three versions of a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt, in 196 BC during the Ptolemaic dynasty on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The top and middle texts are in Ancient Egyptian using hieroglyphic script and Demotic script, respectively, while the bottom is in Ancient Greek. As the decree has only minor differences between the three versions, the Rosetta Stone proved to be the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs, thereby opening a window into ancient Egyptian history.
The stone, carved during the Hellenistic period, is believed to have originally been displayed within a temple, possibly at nearby Sais. It was probably moved during the early Christian or medieval period, and was eventually used as building material in the construction of Fort Julien near the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in the Nile Delta. It was rediscovered there in July 1799 by a French soldier named Pierre-François Bouchard during the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt. It was the first Ancient Egyptian bilingual text recovered in modern times, and it aroused widespread public interest with its potential to decipher this previously untranslated hieroglyphic language. Lithographic copies and plaster casts began circulating among European museums and scholars. British troops having meanwhile defeated the French, under the Capitulation of Alexandria in 1801 the original stone came into British possession and was transported to London. It has been on public display at the British Museum almost continuously since 1802 and is the most-visited object there.
Study of the decree was already under way when the first full translation of the Greek text appeared in 1803. It was 20 years, however, before the transliteration of the Egyptian scripts was announced by Jean-François Champollion in Paris in 1822; it took longer still before scholars were able to read Ancient Egyptian inscriptions and literature confidently. Major advances in the decoding were recognition that the stone offered three versions of the same text (1799); that the demotic text used phonetic characters to spell foreign names (1802); that the hieroglyphic text did so as well, and had pervasive similarities to the demotic (Thomas Young, 1814); and that, in addition to being used for foreign names, phonetic characters were also used to spell native Egyptian words (Champollion, 1822–1824).
Ever since its rediscovery, the stone has been the focus of nationalist rivalries, including its transfer from French to British possession during the Napoleonic Wars, a long-running dispute over the relative value of Young and Champollion's contributions to the decipherment and, since 2003, demands for the stone's return to Egypt.
Two other fragmentary copies of the same decree were discovered later, and several similar Egyptian bilingual or trilingual inscriptions are now known, including two slightly earlier Ptolemaic decrees (the Decree of Canopus in 238 BC, and the Memphis decree of Ptolemy IV, c. 218 BC). The Rosetta Stone is, therefore, no longer unique, but it was the essential key to modern understanding of Ancient Egyptian literature and civilisation. The term Rosetta Stone is now used in other contexts as the name for the essential clue to a new field of knowledge.Royal Decree of Graces of 1815
The Royal Decree of Graces of 1815 (Spanish: Real Cédula de Gracias) is a legal order approved by the Spanish Crown in the early half of the 19th century to encourage Spaniards and, later, Europeans of non-Spanish origin, to settle in and populate the colony of Puerto Rico.
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