Difference between Common Law and Regulatory Law

Key Difference: Common Laws are laws that have come about of been enacted based on court rulings. These laws are developed based on rulings that have been given in older court cases. Common laws are also known as case law or precedent. Regulatory Law is a part of administrative law and includes rules and regulations passed by the administrative department of the government. As many different sectors grew, they all required proper regulations and laws governing them. This caused the Government to create different agencies with specialists that could better govern that particular sector properly. These different agencies are responsible for creating laws and enforcing them in that particular sector.

Common Law and regulatory law are pretty confusing terms for people that are not well-versed with laws and how the law system works.  Common law and regulatory laws are two different types of laws that are used to govern two different aspects of the society. Common law deals with laws acquired from decisions of old court cases, while regulatory law deals with creating and enforcing laws in a special segment. Regulatory laws are laws issued by administrative agencies, which have been given power by the government.

Common Laws are laws that have come about of been enacted based on court rulings. These laws are developed based on rulings that have been given in older court cases. Common laws are also known as case law or precedent. These rules can be written as well as unwritten. In a common law justice system, the laws of a country depend on the rulings or decisions of courts or other tribunals, where it is believed justice prevailed.

The general principal of this system is that similar cases with similar facts and issues should not be treated differently. If there is a dispute between laws, the authority or precedent looks to past cases and must provide the same reasoning and decision that was provided in the first case. The laws can also be altered and evolved based on the circumstances. The judges also have the authority to create new laws or alter and interpret older laws. Once the law has been altered or changed during the ongoing case, the law will then be enforceable on all other cases henceforth with similar evidence and situations. Many countries live in common law systems or mixed systems.

Regulatory Law is a part of administrative law and includes rules and regulations passed by the administrative department of the government. Let’s understand the process of how a law is made. The law that is looked to being passed is written on a paper, which is known as a bill. This paper only has an ambiguous frame work of the law. Once the law is approved, the law is passed down to the regulation department, which is responsible for working out the additional clauses, creating an implementing process and addressing the rest of the details before the law can be enforced. Wikipedia defines ‘regulatory law’ as,”’Regulatory law’ usually means law promulgated by an executive branch agency under a delegation from a legislature.”

As many different sectors grew, they all required proper regulations and laws governing them. This caused the Government to create different agencies with specialists that could better govern that particular sector properly. These different agencies are responsible for creating laws and enforcing them in that particular sector. An example of such an agency is the FDA (Food and Drug Association) that regulates laws regarding use of harmful and harmless ingredients in the food and medical sector. These are regulatory laws, which help these agencies regulate practices and day-to-day activities in that particular sector. Regulatory laws are not found in statutes, but rather are listed on a federal register. Each agency must make these laws known and available to the public.

Regulations can be used define two things; a process of monitoring and enforcing legislations and a written instrument containing rules that have law on them. David Levi-Faur’s Regulation and Regulatory Governance, Jerusalem Papers in Regulation and Governance states that regulation creates, limits, or constrains a right, creates or limits a duty, or allocates a responsibility. It can come in many forms including legal restrictions, contractual obligations, self-regulation, co-regulation, third-party regulation, certification, accreditation or market regulation. Regulation is basically ensuring that a law or legislation is put into effect and the details of how it is put into effect. The regulations are the responsibility of the executive branch.

Image Courtesy: neohouston.com, defendingfoodsafety.com

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