Difference between Common Law and Statutory 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. Statutory Laws are laws that have been written down and codified by the legislative branch of a country. The law has been set down by a legislature or legislator (if it is a monarchy) and codified by the government. These laws are also known as written law or session law.

 

Rules, laws and acts are important to almost any organization or country. The rules and laws ensure that there be peace and tranquility maintained among the people. Laws also ensures that everyone is treated the same and no one is placed above the law based on their social standing. There are various different types of laws that often confuse people because of their technical wordings. Common law and statutory law are two types of laws that exist in a country. These are confusing for many people who are not well-versed with law books.

 

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. Many countries live in common law systems or mixed systems.

 

Statutory Laws are laws that have been written down and codified by the legislative branch of a country. The law has been set down by a legislature or legislator (if it is a monarchy) and codified by the government. These laws are also known as written law or session law. Statutory laws are often subordinate to the higher constitutional laws. The laws are written on a bill and must be passed by the legislative body of the government. Statutory laws originate from municipalities, state legislature or national legislature. The term ‘codified’ states that the law is organized by the subject matter. However, not all statutory laws are considered as ‘codified’. The statues are often referred to as code. Codifying a law can also refer to taking a common law and putting it in statute or code form. Statues are prone to being over written or expiring, depending on the law that was passed.

 

Many countries depend on a mixed law system to provide the proper justice. This is because statutory laws are often written in general language and may not govern every situation that may arise. In cases like these, the courts must interpret and determine the proper meaning of the statute that is most relevant to the case. Both statutory laws and common laws can be disputed and appealed in higher courts.

 

 

Common Law

Statutory Law

Definition

Common laws are laws that have been come about through decision of courts or other decisions.

Statutory laws are laws that have been written down and passed by the legislative branch of a country.

Origin

Precedent or judiciary

Legislator or Government

New laws

New laws are passed or old laws evolve because of new decisions that have been passed in courts.

New laws are passed by the legislative system of a country.

Also known as

Case Law, Precedent

Written law, Session law

Nature

Instructive

Prescriptive

Operational Level

Procedural

Substantive

 

 

 

Image Courtesy: neohouston.com

Image Courtesy: georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu

Most Searched in Health Most Searched in Education and References
Most Searched in Home and Garden Most Searched in Business and Finance
Salary vs Emoluments
SAT vs GRE
How vs What
DSP vs General Purpose Processor

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.