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DOJ Regulations

The Office of Legal Policy (OLP) acts as the principal liaison between the rulemaking components of the Department of Justice, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, and other federal agencies. OLP coordinates the regulatory development and the review of virtually all regulations and rule-related notices developed by all Department components. Documents are checked for:

  • policy consistency
  • appropriate interagency and intra-Departmental coordination, and
  • compliance with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

OLP also assists Department components with the drafting of regulations and notices, along with their clearance and publication in the Federal Register. In addition, OLP reviews regulations and notices drafted by other federal agencies that may affect the Department of Justice.

On July 1, 2021, the Department of Justice issued an interim final rule, effective immediately, rescinding two regulations adopted in 2020 that imposed unnecessary and burdensome restrictions on the Department’s issuance and use of guidance documents. The rescission of these rules is consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order 1, 13992, revoking an earlier Executive Order on which the now-rescinded rules were based. Attorney General Merrick Garland also issued a memorandum on July 1, 2021, establishing the Department’s policy on the issuance and use of guidance. Together, the rescission of the rules and the Attorney General’s memorandum returned the Department to its traditional approach to guidance documents. Please note: This is the text of the interim final rule as signed by the Attorney General, but the official version of the interim final rule will be as it is published in the Federal Register.

Attorney General Interim Final Rule - Processes and Procedures for Issuance and Use of Guidance Documents 

Attorney General Garland Memorandum - Issuance and Use of Guidance Documents by the Department of Justice, July 1, 2021

On April 1, 2022, OLP Assistant Attorney General Hampton Y. Dellinger issued a memorandum updating and clarifying the procedures Department components should follow when reviewing, issuing, and maintaining guidance documents, in accordance with the principles announced in the Attorney General’s July 1, 2021 memorandum.

Assistant Attorney General Dellinger Memorandum - Review, Issuance and Maintenance of Guidance Documents by Department Components, April 1, 2022

Updated March 27, 2024