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A local ordinance is a law usually found in a code of laws for a political division smaller than a state or nation, such as a municipality, county, parish, prefecture, etc.
In the United States, these laws are enforced locally in addition to state law and federal law. In states such as Connecticut, legislative bodies at the local level develop city and town ordinances to govern the public.
There must generally be a statutory basis for an ordinance, the ordinance must be in compliance with any overlapping statutes (although it may impose a stricter standard or penalty), and the ordinance must be related to the affairs of the local government in question.
Under the Local Autonomy Law, an ordinance may impose a penalty of up to two years imprisonment and/or 1 million yen in fines, although any penalty under an ordinance must be prescribed in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure. There are even some ordinances, such as bans on smoking on the street, for which the police in some districts state that there is no penalty for failure to obey the ordinance.
All laws enacted by the legislature of British colonies are referred to as Ordinances, which sometimes delegate power to other parties (usually government departments) to make subsidiary legislations that supplement the Ordinances. In Hong Kong, all laws enacted by the territory's Legislative Council remain to be known as Ordinances (Chinese: 條例; Jyutping: tiu4lai6) after the transfer of the territory's sovereignty to the China in 1997.