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What is Statutory Law?
What’s important to know about this concept?
In this article, I will break down the meaning of Statutory Law so you know all there is to know about it!
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Table of Contents
What Is Statutory Law
Statutory law refers to the body of laws that are adopted by the legislative branch and expressed in writing.
In other words, statutory law is essentially laws that are written down and formally adopted by the government.
For example, the Uniform Commercial Code adopted by a state represents statutory law as it is a law (or statute) that is validly adopted by the state.
Statutory law can be opposed to regulatory law which is adopted by the executive branch and common law which is derived from the judiciary.
For a statute to be adopted, the legislative branch follows its usual legislative process where a bill is proposed and approved and then it is ultimately signed by the executive branch.
Statutes are in writing and made available for the entire public to view.
Generally, when a statute is adopted, it will take effect from the date determined within the statute.
Keep reading as I will further explain to you the meaning of statutory law and why it’s important.
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Why Statutory Law Is Important
Statutory law is important for everyone and anyone living in society.
Essentially, they represent a large body of laws governing most aspects of our lives.
Essentially, the legislative branch has enacted countless laws dealing with things like commercial activities, competition, environment, family matters, traffic, workplace safety, and so on.
In the United States, you can have statutes adopted at the federal level, state level, or local level.
Consequently, individuals and businesses subject to statutory laws must comply with the laws, bills, and codes applicable to them.
Once a statute is adopted, the courts are given the power to enforce the statute.
Unlike common law, the judicial branch is required to interpret statutes based on strict interpretations and avoid a liberal interpretation.
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Types of Statutory Laws
Statutory laws generally refer to laws that are in writing and codified where they are numbered, indexed, and consolidated into one place.
We can further divide statutory laws into different types, namely declaratory statutes, remedial statutes, temporary statutes, perpetual statutes, affirmative statutes, negative statutes, personal statutes, real statutes, and mixed statutes.
A declaratory statute takes a certain aspect of the common law and clarifies the parties’ rights and obligations.
Remedial statutes are used to further clarify or expand on statutes that are already in place.
Temporary statutes are those that are valid for a certain period of time before expiring.
Perpetual statutes are those that do not have an expiry date set within the statute.
Affirmative statutes are those that use affirmative statements without taking anything away from common law.
Negative statutes are those that use negative statements without taking anything away from the common law.
Personal statutes are those that deal with an individual starting from birth to death.
Real statutes are those that deal with property and objects that we could own or possess.
Mixed statutes are those that deal with both personal and real aspects.
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How Statutory Laws Are Created
In the United States, statutory laws are adopted by following specific legislative processes.
The first step is for the legislative branch to propose a bill.
Then, the bill is presented to the entire legislative body which will either approve or reject the bill.
If the bill is rejected, it will be amended and brought back for a vote again.
If the bill is approved, it will then be sent to the executive branch for signature.
The executive branch at the federal level is the US President and the Governor at the state level.
The executive branch has the right to veto the adoption of the bill into law and return it back to the legislative branch.
Alternatively, the executive branch can sign the bill into law.
The moment the bill is signed by the President or the Governor, the statute is formally adopted and will start taking effect as of the moment stipulated in the statute.
Federal law applies to the entire country, state laws apply within the state, and local laws or city laws apply locally.
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Statutory Laws FAQ
What does statutory law refer to?
Statutory law is the primary type of law used by the judicial system to define and interpret a person’s rights and obligations.
Statutory laws are those that are in written form and adopted by the legislative branch.
Everyone in society is required to obey statutory laws governing all aspects of our lives.
What are the different types of laws?
There are different types of laws that apply to our day-to-day lives and activities.
Statutory laws are those that are enacted by the legislative branch.
Administrative laws and regulations are laws created by the executive branch.
Common law is the body of laws created by the judicial branch.
Both administrative laws and common law can become statutory laws if they are written down and officially passed by the legislative body.
What is a statute?
A statute refers to a law that is enacted by the legislature.
For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a federal statute that applies in the United States.
In essence, a statute is the formal enactment of legislative authority governing a particular territory such as a country, state, city, town, municipality, or other.
What is not statutory law?
If a body of laws is not specifically created by following the legislative process through elected representatives, then it is not statutory law.
For instance, common law is not statutory as it is a body of laws created over time by the courts in dealing with various cases, principles, and precedents.
Administrative law is not statutory law as it represents a body of laws adopted by the executive agencies defining their own rules and processes within their legally awarded jurisdiction.
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So there you have it folks!
What does statutory law mean?
In a nutshell, statutory law refers to the body of laws that are written and officially enacted by the legislative branch of the government.
For example, traffic laws are written and published by the government so everyone is made aware of their content.
As such, traffic laws are considered statutory laws as they are statutes governing traffic in a certain territory.
Statutes are proposed by the legislative branch and then signed into law by the executive branch.
Then, the judicial branch is tasked with the interpretation of the laws by applying the statute to different cases that are presented to it.
Now that you know what statutory laws refer to and how they work, good luck with your research!
I hope you enjoyed this article on Statutory Law! Be sure to check out more articles on my blog. Enjoy!
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