What is The Difference Between An Act And A Law?

In legal terms, the differences between what a law is and what an act is does not differ much. The difference between a law and an act is that a law is any system of regulations (better known as laws), that govern, or rule the conduct of the people of society or community usually for protection. Whereas an act is a constitutional plan passed by Congress or any legislature that is referred to as a “bill” until ratified and becomes a law.
What is an Example of a “Law” versus an “Act”?

Example of a Law

An example of a law is in the United States it is a federal offense to sell tobacco and alcohol products to minors. This is a law because it is meant to protect minors from using tobacco and consuming alcohol for health and safety reasons.

Example of an Act

An example of an act is The G.I. Bill. In the United States, the G.I. Bill is officially known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944. The G.I. Bill gives military veterans benefits such as unemployment compensation, and the chance to attend college.

What is the Simplified Difference between Laws and Act?

To make it simple and easier to understand, laws exist so that citizens of the public are protected whereas acts exist so that an idea of the government is made mandatory for the public. Before an act is a law, an act is technically called a bill. In order for an act to officially become law a legislature must vote on a bill. If the bill is voted in the bill then becomes an act, thus, becoming a law.

15 Responses to “What is The Difference Between An Act And A Law?”

  1. Adria Armor says:

    Will any one still have interest in the G.I. Bill? I could recall a time when we seemed to hear of it everyday, its crazy now things have changed.. these days it would appear that you don’t even see it promoted on the air like it used to be. Is it simply not promoted any longer, and ceased being searched as an bonus to sign up for the army?

  2. Su Defabio says:

    Does any individual continuing to have any affinity for the G.I. Bill? Long ago, I remember when we seemed to hear of it regularly, again, that was YEARS ago.. nowadays evidently you never even see it marketed on the air like it used to be. Is it forgotten for now, and not considered as an inducement to sign up for the military services?

  3. steven says:

    Man, your ment to be “legal” and your misleading people with the answer. An act and Law, are not the same. Your Government, police, whatever give you the Illusion that thier the same. There not.


    your very helpful to my coursework here at the university.

  5. ACT says:

    well done.
    some times i heare that EDUCATION ACT or LAND ACT,inside it you find several laws.
    It means that law is a subset of act?

  6. A thoughtful insight and ideas I will use on my blog. You’ve obviously spent a lot of time on this. Congratulations!So I sincerely say you produce some exceptional points and I will publish a variety of thoughts to add in briefly.

  7. ElitistNot says:

    On the GI Bill – The reason you never hear about it anymore is because it is pure rubbish. The government, like an insurance company, finds every possible way to not provide the benefit. It is far more hassle than it is worth in many cases. For me, it was far less hassle to obtain permanent residency in a foreign country and attend university as a local there than it was to get my GI bill benefits. Believe me, you really do not want the GI bill to be a part of your decision to join the military. Same goes for VA benefits. Also, if you do serve in the military do not bother putting it on your application for civilian work after your leave the military as, more often than not, it prevents you from being able to get a job. Anyway, in short, the benefits of serving are generally rubbish and not worth serving. I know that will upset a lot of people to hear the truth, but that is the truth. Do not bother serving if you have no absolute need to.

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  11. Ron says:

    ACT is exactly right. An Act is a collection of laws and not a single law. In fact, what do you call a law that has a bunch of riders attached to a bill that have nothing to do with the bill, and when the bill passes, the irrelevant riders also become law.

    Why hasn’t anyone addressed what is patently unethical if not downright illegal?

    Yes, these are prok bills, but there should be a law preventing the passage of any law added to another law less than 48 hours before a vote call – at a minimum.

    Now, let’s take (and repeal) the entire Affordable Health Care Act – a 2,700 page law?

    No way. It has hundreds of provisions that have the exact same effect as a law does – including the one giving the Secretary of Health dictatorial powers wit regards to changing any and all provisions she sees fit.

    THAT was the first thing that caught my eye.


    The law as it exists today is not the same as it was when it got illegally passed. If it is so affordable, wehy is Congress asking for an exemption?

  12. Great explanation, it’s so simple and concise, thanks :D

  13. Legal semantics are what keep lawyers in business. And also in many cases shield them from being found out to be incompetent. This is just one example..

  14. Sue Campbell says:

    Are swimming pool regulations actually law or just recomendations? Can you be fined for not complying?

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