Regulations Definition

In some countries, subordinate legislation includes regulations, administrative decisions, orders, procedures, directives and bylaws. In Canada, for example, Regulations are defined as a statutory instrument.

Finding regulations

To conduct legal research, in some countries is helpful to use a consolidated version to locate the piece of legislation enacted under a statute. Some consolidated versions of regulations are available in Internet:

  • Official Department of Justice Websites (for example, in Canada)
  • Commercial consolidated index to regulations
  • Some jurisdictions of WorldLII

Updating regulations

The consolidated version will contain amendments up to the date of the consolidation. Look for the date of the consolidation, and check for amendments from that date.

Legislative history

If you need to conduct historical research on the regulations, rather than just study the consolidated version, the Consolidated Index will provide you with citations to all regulations, and amendments to them,

Popular Regulations

Bank Regulations

U.S. Federal Regulations

In the United States, the Code of Federal Regulations is the codification of the final regulations published in the U.S. Federal Register by agency and subject.

Federal Regulation Resources

Executive Orders

Congress and Federal Legislation

Federal Judiciary

Code of Federal Regulations

Federal Register

Government Accountability Office

Federal Agencies

Further Reading

  • Administrative Law Treatise, 5th ed. 3 vols.
  • Administrative Law and Practice, 3d ed. 5 vols.
  • U.S. Government Manual
  • Administrative Law. 1 vol.
  • Administrative Law and Process in a Nutshell, 5th ed.

Regulations As Union 'Laws'

Content about Regulations from the publication “The ABC of European Union law” (2010, European Union) by Klaus-Dieter Borchardt.

The legal acts that enable the Union institutions to impinge furthest on the domestic legal systems are the regulations. Two features highly unusual in international law mark them out.

Context of Regulations in the European Union

_The first is their Community nature, which means that they lay down the same law throughout the Union, regardless of international borders, and apply in full in all Member States. A Member State has no power to apply a regulation incompletely or to select only those provisions of which it approves as a means of ensuring that an instrument which it opposed at the time of its adoption or which runs counter to its perceived national interest is not given effect. Nor can it invoke provisions or practices of domestic law to preclude the mandatory application of a regulation.

_The second is direct applicability, which means that the legal acts do not have to be transposed into national law but confer rights or impose obligations on the Union citizen in the same way as national law. The Member States and their governing institutions and courts are bound directly by Union law and have to comply with it in the same way as with national law.

More about Regulations in the European Union

The similarities between these legal acts and statute law passed in individual Member States are unmistakable. If they are enacted with the involvement of the European Parliament (under the co-decision-making procedure – see next section), they are described as 'legislative acts'. Parliament has no responsibility for regulations, which are only enacted by the Council or the European Commission and thus, from a procedural point of view at least, they lack the essential characteristics of legislation of this kind.


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