Each country has a different legal system that regulates the implementation of the laws. In the case of Spain, the decree law is the most important, since it is a regulation with the character of law issued by the Executive. Therefore, parliamentary approval is not needed and depending on the political system it is issued in emergency circumstances. In monarchical political systems, it is called a Royal Decree because it is the highest-ranking rule in the country.
What is a decree law?
The decree law is a rule that can only be issued by the executive branch, whoever is the king or head of government. It is characterized by being the rule of maximum authority and does not require the discussion of any other body in the country. When these decrees are published, the population mobilizes to find out their details, because it will influence the day-to-day life of the country. However, according to the Spanish constitution, they cannot affect public institutions or the rights, duties and freedoms of society.
This is a fundamental element, because it ensures that the decree law is not misused by the government. Therefore, when it is issued it must be approved by the Spanish Parliament within 30 days and they may accept or reject it. This has made the deadlines much shorter, so it is a resource that the state applies frequently. Consequently, the Magna Carta imposes limits that the State must comply with at all times.
What is a legislative decree?
The other type of law that exists in Spain is the legislative decree. It is a norm with the force of law issued by the executive branch, but which was approved by the legislative branch. For this reason it is also called ordinary law and is typified in article 82 of the Constitution. First, the government issues the law and then congress approves it through prior discussion. Then, if it is approved by parliament, it will be known as a royal legislative decree.
This is very important, because it demonstrates the relevance of the congress when it comes to making decisions. In these cases, the government realizes that it is necessary to issue a new law to resolve an important issue for the country. In turn, these texts may come from the union of several laws that had dispersed objectives. Subsequently, it is drafted and sent to the parliamentary branch for discussion and approval or rejection. Consequently, it is the deputies who have the last word when it comes to issuing regulations.
What is a royal decree?
The royal decree is another regulation issued by the government that has the scope of regulation. It is carried out in the Councils of Ministers, which is the act in which the project is announced, although a royal decree will not always be a regulation. Therefore, it is in a second order, falling behind the rank of law and one step before the ministerial order. Thus, the royal decree is issued by the executive power through the Council of Ministers. For its part, the decree law is approved by Parliament.
This demonstrates the true scope that this type of project can have. Although it comes from the government, it is stipulated for very specific actions, so it will always be behind the law. The constitution allows the government to have the power to issue regulations, although these will have their limitations at all times. Therefore, it is essential to know the constitution to understand the range of each of the regulations. The law is very clear in every aspect.
Difference between decree law and legislative decree
At this point, you will surely have noticed that the decree law and the legislative decree have many similarities. However, there is a difference between the two that you should know to avoid getting confused. First of all, what distinguishes them is the mechanism that activates each resource, so the legislature is activated by the government. For this, the parliament delegates a specific rule to the executive branch, so the government will have the last word in these cases.
On the other hand, the decree law is also executed by the government, but only in moments of extreme need. That is, in special cases such as war conflicts, natural disasters or epidemics such as Covid 19, which we recently experienced. So, both run on the same track, but are scheduled for completely different times. In addition, none of these norms will regulate the organic laws, since these are powers of the judiciary. Therefore, they have a rather limited field of action.
Difference between royal decree and decree law
The decree law is part of the daily life of the Spanish. In addition to knowing its characteristics and scope, it is essential that you understand the difference between this resource and the royal decree. Both are tools used by the executive to approve regulations, but the latter only has the rank of regulation, being below the laws. Therefore, it is essential that its content does not contradict the current laws, since the latter are above in any situation.
Meanwhile, the decree law does have the force of law and is promulgated by the executive in the same way. This does not need authorization from Parliament and is executed in very specific cases, generally emergencies. However, depending on the context, parliament may later audit regulations that were passed without their consent. In this way, when you hear something similar again, you will already know what is the characteristic and difference between all these resources. The constitution is very specific in each situation.