public policy

noun
1.
the fundamental policy on which laws rest, especially policy not yet enunciated in specific rules.
2.
Law. the principle that injury to the public good or public order constitutes a basis for setting aside, or denying effect to, acts or transactions.

Origin:
1775–85

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
In the first place, the courts have said that public policy requires the power
  of the master and officers should be sustained.
He says the strength of the new school will be business and its interaction
  with technology and public policy.
Recognising that public policy must aim to influence culture is not the same as
  suggesting how.
Private money and private interests still control too much of public policy.
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