The New International Encyclopædia/Ordinance

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ORDINANCE (ML. ordinantia, decree, from Lat. ordinare, to order, from ordo, row, series, orderly arrangement). In its broadest sense, any law or statute enacted or promulgated by a governmental authority, but more commonly used to designate laws or regulations passed by the governing bodies of municipalities. The term was formerly employed in England to describe a law or regulation which needed the assent of one of the three powers necessary to the validity of an act of Parliament, viz. the King, the House of Lords, and House of Commons. It is now used in England to designate any rule or regulation enacted by any authority less than sovereign. In the United States the term is almost exclusively applied to the laws or regulations passed by the common councils, boards of aldermen, or other governing bodies of municipalities. An ordinance differs from a resolution, which is an expression of the will of any organized body, generally to carry out some ministerial act relating to its own internal management, or other matter not affecting the general public, as a resolution of respect in honor of a deceased person. The formalities for the enactment, publication, enforcement, and repeal of ordinances are largely regulated by statutes. See Act; By-law; Municipality; Resolution; Statute.