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The Relationship between policy and the law

Updated on September 13, 2010
Dennis AuBuchon profile image

I have a background in quality control and my philosophy on my website and writing is quality writing and services to make a difference..

There are several things involving policy implemented by a business or government and the law. Many businesses and government agencies or departments generate policy statements or mission statements in how they are going to operate. This is a normal occurrence. Policy is a set of principles that an organization or government entity puts in place to inform employees and others of their objectives.

The connection and there should be a connection between policy and the law. Businesses operate to make a profit but in so doing they must obey the laws that apply to their operations. To do this they establish a policy of how they are going to operate and it must be in compliance with the law or laws as they apply to their operations. Policy statements or mission statements issued by a government entity must be careful to ensure there are no contradictions between the policy they create and the laws for which they are entrusted to enforce. Many departments or agencies of the various levels of government generate policy statements or mission statements. Policy can be a target to achieve but it requires action to achieve it. One example comes to mind when President Kennedy had a policy or objective to land a man on the Moon and safely return in 1960. Some may feel this is not a policy statement but in actuality it is. It was the implementation of a policy to achieve a goal. This involved having a policy to provide the necessary funding in the federal budget to achieve the target.

One question which needs to be answered is when policy contradicts a law or laws are those to which the policy is directed required to follow the policy or the law. The answer is obvious. We as individuals should never violate the law whether we are directed through policy statements is irrelevant. When we violate the law we are the ones who will have to pay for it not those giving the direction to do so. Basically giving direction as in a policy statement is not committing a crime. Those who follow the direction in violation of the law commit a crime that is subject to prosecution.

Policy is a set of principles that an organization puts in place to let employees know where they stand for certain issues. This is an action engrained in every organization public, private and government. The basic principle of policy that is generated is to provide direction to employees in an organization in implementing or enforcing the direction the organization wishes to take. Policy cannot or should not contradict laws associated with the topic of a policy statement.

Many times policy statements or objectives of an organization have motives that may not necessarily be illegal but the principle involved may point to efforts to discredit individuals or organizations. Individuals sometimes have issues with organizations or government entities and in their efforts to discredit or bring discredit they generate a policy to do everything they can to make it happen. We as individuals have differences but it is how we handle those differences that determine who we are. Efforts to discredit individuals or organizations through unethical means only bring discredit to us. Generally the truth will come out sooner or later and when it does we are the ones who have been discredited.

When policies and law work together they can achieve much to make sure the law to which they relate is properly enforced. It is important that opinion not be included in any policies written as they may contradict both the law and the intention of it. When individuals or organizations create policy two things must occur. The first is to have a clear direction for those who must follow it. The second is to ensure that no laws contradict the policy established.


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    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      This article is well written and educational. Thank you for the good read.


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