Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy


A law is an abstract-general legal rule, which regulates the human behaviour. Ideally, the law represents the views of the majority within the purview of the law and expresses the legally binding rules of a society in written form. A law is binding because it evokes rights and duties whose non-compliance can be sanctioned. Formally, a law is an act of will made by the legislature of a state, which results from the constitutional legislative process. In Germany, only the German Bundestag can enact a federal law. At regional level, the Landtag is the sole legislative power that enacts the regional state constitution and the regional laws.

The Law in the Hierarchy of Legal Rules
Official laws stand hierarchically above statutory orders, as well as statutes and administrative rules. Thus, content of downstream legislation becomes ineffective if it contradicts a higher law. A statutory order can clearly define an existing law and include technical details so that the law is relieved from case-specific orders. 

See also: Legal Norm, Bylaws, Regulation

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