The difference between an article, an act, and a law. Are amendments like “super acts”? What’s the diff between an article and an amendment?



The difference between an article, an act, and a law. Are amendments like “super acts”? What’s the diff between an article and an amendment?

In: Other

An “Article” is one part or section of a legal document.

An “Act” is a very specific piece of legislation (a bill) that becomes a law when it is passed. It is usually about a very specific phenomenon or event and has very specific rules about how it should be observed and enforced.

“Law” is a more general idea. It covers everything from the Constitution to specific “acts”. “Law” gives general guidance on what’s allowed or not allowed.

An Amendment is a revision (change) or update or clarification or addition made to an existing legal document.

The difference between an Amendment and an Article is that an Article is usually a section within the original document and an Amendment is a change or addition to that document.

A law is something you, personally, can violate. It carries consequences, like fines or jail time, if you violate it. You can break a law.

An act is a plan to do something. When it’s passed, the plan goes into action.

An article is a small section of a larger document, like the Constitution.

An amendment is a change to an existing law or document (like the Constitution).

An “act” is a single enacted bill proposed in a single legislative session approved in a single Presidential assent. A law, in contrast, can be the result of multiple acts approved in multiple Presidential assents at different times and then codified into a single statute.

Articles are portions of sections, and sections are subdivisions of the law or act. So an act might have four sections covering different specifics, and each section will have a number of articles with the specific changes to the law.

Amendments are just changes to existing law. If a law says something and you want that thing changed, then you propose an amendment to to the law in an act. The most common usage in the US, though, is in reference to Constitutional Amendments, which are more than just ‘super acts’ – they are changes to the core of how the US runs and require a _much_ higher burden to pass.

In the context of government:

An article is a subsection of a law / constitution. For example Congress in the United States is set up under Article 1 of the US constitution, this is the first major section of the Constitution. The Presidency is setup under Article 2, the Judiciary by Article 3, Article 4 sets up the relationships between the States and the Federal Government.

An Act of Congress is a law passed by Congress. In the context of the US these need to be compliant with the Constitution.

An Amendment is when something is added to an existing law. In the context of the US Constitutional Amendments are additions to the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. An act of Congress can be amended – this is it can be added to or altered (by Congress) passing an amendment rather than rewriting the entire law.