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Decree vs. Order: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on November 28, 2023
A decree is a formal and authoritative order, often issued by a legal authority, while an order is a direction or command delivered by someone in authority, not necessarily in a legal context.

Key Differences

A decree is typically a legal judgment or decision issued by a court, often concluding a particular case or legal matter. It has a conclusive nature and is binding on the parties involved. An order, on the other hand, refers to a directive issued by a person in authority, which could be in a legal, governmental, or organizational context, and directs someone to act or not act in a specific manner.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
Decrees are usually more formal and carry legal weight, especially in the context of a judicial system. They are instrumental in the adjudication of rights and often mark the end of a legal proceeding. Orders are more diverse in their application, ranging from administrative instructions to directives in a legal case. They may or may not have a finality attached to them.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
In legal terms, a decree comes into play specifically in civil cases, resolving disputes and providing a legal conclusion. It is enforceable by law. Orders, however, can be seen in both civil and criminal legal proceedings as well as in various administrative or organizational settings, indicating a command that needs to be followed.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
The issuance of a decree often signifies the settlement of a legal issue, whereas an order may require immediate compliance but does not necessarily resolve a legal issue. Orders can be interim or final, but decrees typically represent the final judgment in a case.
Harlon Moss
Nov 28, 2023
Decrees are formal legal judgments with a definitive conclusion to a legal matter, whereas orders are broader in scope, encompassing any directive given by an authority, not limited to the judicial domain.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Nature

Formal legal judgment.
Directive or command by someone in authority.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Context

Primarily in civil law.
Broad, including legal, administrative, etc.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Finality

Often final and conclusive.
Can be interim or final.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Enforcement

Legally binding and enforceable.
May or may not be legally enforceable.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Application

Ends a legal proceeding or resolves disputes.
Broad application, including instructions or commands.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 28, 2023
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Decree and Order Definitions

Decree

An official order issued by a legal authority.
The royal decree established new guidelines for trade.
Janet White
Nov 14, 2023

Order

A directive in legal proceedings.
The judge's order halted the construction work immediately.
Janet White
Nov 14, 2023

Decree

A formal legal judgment issued by a court.
The court's decree finalized the divorce proceedings.
Sara Rehman
Nov 14, 2023

Order

A command issued by a person or body in authority.
The general issued an order for the troops to advance.
Janet White
Nov 14, 2023

Decree

A binding decision in a civil law case.
The judge's decree resolved the longstanding property dispute.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 14, 2023

Order

A requirement set by an authority figure.
The health inspector's order led to changes in the restaurant's kitchen.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Decree

An authoritative order with legal implications.
The government's decree on environmental regulations became effective immediately.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 14, 2023

Order

An instruction given by a higher authority.
The CEO's order for a financial audit was executed promptly.
Janet White
Nov 14, 2023

Decree

A conclusive judgment in legal proceedings.
The court issued a decree confirming the rights of the plaintiffs.
Harlon Moss
Nov 14, 2023

Order

A mandate or command to perform a specific action.
The court order restricted the sale of certain assets.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 14, 2023

Decree

An authoritative order having the force of law.
Sara Rehman
Nov 13, 2023

Order

A condition of logical or comprehensible arrangement among the separate elements of a group.
Sara Rehman
Nov 13, 2023

Decree

The judgment of a court of equity.
Sara Rehman
Nov 13, 2023

Order

A condition of methodical or prescribed arrangement among component parts such that proper functioning or appearance is achieved
Checked to see that the shipping department was in order.
Sara Rehman
Nov 13, 2023

Decree

The judgment of a court.
Sara Rehman
Nov 13, 2023

Order

Condition or state in general
The escalator is in good working order.
Sara Rehman
Nov 13, 2023

FAQs

Are decrees always related to courts?

Generally, yes, especially in the context of civil law.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

What defines a decree?

A decree is a formal legal judgment, typically issued by a court.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Can an order be issued in non-legal contexts?

Yes, orders can be issued in administrative, organizational, or other authoritative contexts.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 28, 2023

Do orders have legal authority?

In legal contexts, yes. Otherwise, it depends on the authority of the issuer.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 28, 2023

Who issues decrees?

Decrees are typically issued by courts or legal authorities.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

How is an order different from a decree?

An order is a directive or command which may or may not have legal implications, unlike a decree which is a legal judgment.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

How quickly must an order be obeyed?

Generally immediately, unless specified otherwise.
Harlon Moss
Nov 28, 2023

What is the purpose of a decree?

To provide a formal, conclusive resolution to a legal matter.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Can decrees affect public policy?

Yes, especially if issued by high courts or governmental bodies.
Harlon Moss
Nov 28, 2023

Is a decree binding?

Yes, decrees are legally binding and enforceable.
Harlon Moss
Nov 28, 2023

Can a decree be appealed?

Yes, depending on the legal system, decrees can be subject to appeal.
Janet White
Nov 28, 2023

Is an executive order a type of order?

Yes, it's a directive issued by a government executive.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Are orders always written?

No, they can be verbal or written.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

What is an example of an order in everyday life?

A company directive for employees to follow new procedures is an order.
Harlon Moss
Nov 28, 2023

Are orders always formal?

They can be formal or informal, depending on the context and issuer.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

What happens if a decree is not followed?

Non-compliance can lead to legal consequences.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Does a decree apply to everyone?

It applies to the parties involved in the legal case.
Sara Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Can an order be part of a decree?

Yes, a decree can contain specific orders as part of its judgment.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 28, 2023

Who can give an order?

Anyone in a position of authority can issue an order.
Janet White
Nov 28, 2023

What kind of disputes are settled by decrees?

Typically civil disputes like property, family, or contractual issues.
Harlon Moss
Nov 28, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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