Differences Between Law and Act

The terms ‘Law’ and ‘Act’ have certain similarities in that they are used interchangeably at times. Yet, the key difference between them is that an act is passed by the legislative and a law is the rules and regulations enforced by the government.

Difference Between Act and Law - UPSC Polity

Both are recurrent terms in the Polity segment of the IAS Exam. Within this context, this article will further highlight the key differences and similarities between Law and Act. 

Aspirants can find more Difference Between Articles, by visiting the linked page                                                                                                 

Differences between Law and Act



A law is defined as an assemblage of rules and regulations that are indispensable and must be followed. An Act is a decree that is approved by the respective legislature, i.e. in India’s case, the State Legislative Assembly or Parliament of India.
Law holds its single purview over the larger picture. An Act is a sub-set of Law.
Law ensures that the people will strictly follow the defined rules and regulations. An Act is employed in specific situations meaning establishing regulations and rules in specified domains. An example of this is the Indian Companies Act which regulates the formation and functioning of companies or corporations in India.
Law is more generic in its nature of operations and is not that complicated to comprehend. Acts are conditional and specific depending on the domains they have been applied for.
Law can be enforced as it has been established by the regulatory procedures. An Act is represented by the bill it is passed for and will not be enforced until it becomes law.
A law is defined to stop malpractices, maintain public order, and, most importantly to protect Fundamental Rights. Acts are made to make people aware of certain rules and regulations that are in place.
A law is an established phenomenon.  An Act is originally a bill which is proposed by the Parliament first and when it gets approval from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and the President as well, it becomes an act.
Laws are under regulation by government authority and hold sovereignty in them. Acts are provisions enacted by a legislative body or the government for the people they understand the meaning of specific circumstances.

Aspirants can find study materials for the UPSC Polity segment and similar articles through the links given below:

Difference Between Act and Law – Download PDF Here

FAQ about Law and Act


What are the main types of law?

In Indian Judicial System, there are four types of law. They are Criminal law, civil law, common law, and statutory law.

What is the importance of law and act?

An Act and Law, both, are extremely necessary for the proper functioning and organization of the administration of the society, and the country as a whole.

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