A regulation is a legal norm intended to shape conduct that is a by-product of imperfection. A regulation may be used to prescribe or proscribe conduct ("command-and-control" regulation), to calibrate incentives ("incentive" regulation), or to change preferences ("preferences shaping" regulation"). In statist mechanisms it can also be extended to monitoring and enforcement of rules as established by primary and/or delegated legislation. In this form, it is generally a written instrument containing rules having the force of statist law (as opposed to natural law). Other forms of regulation are self regulation. In general, regulations are written by executive agencies as a way to enforce laws passed by the legislature. Because of the actual or potential interference in choices, the idea of regulation and most issues related to regulation tend to be in controversy.
law, rule, regulation, precept, statute, ordinance, canon mean a principle governing action or procedure. law implies imposition by a sovereign authority and the obligation of obedience on the part of all subject to that authority . rule applies to more restricted or specific situations . regulation implies prescription by authority in order to control an organization or system . precept commonly suggests something advisory and not obligatory communicated typically through teaching . statute implies a law enacted by a legislative body . ordinance applies to an order governing some detail of procedure or conduct enforced by a limited authority such as a municipality . canon suggests in nonreligious use a principle or rule of behavior or procedure commonly accepted as a valid guide .