A decree or law of major import promulgated by a king, queen, or other sovereign of a government.
An edict can be distinguished from a public proclamation in that an edict puts a new statute into effect whereas a public proclamation is no more than a declaration of a law prior to its actual enactment.
Under ROMAN LAW, an edict had different meanings. It was usually a mandate published under the authority of a ruler that commanded the observance of various rules or injunctions. Sometimes, however, an edict was a citation to appear before a judge.
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