Understanding Statutory Law

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Understanding Statutory Law

Statutory Law: Laws passed by the process of running a bill through the House and Senate, getting the required votes to pass it, and then having it signed into law by the Governor or President. For example, the right against self-incrimination is statutory law because it was written into the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Importance of the Statutory Law

* Statutory law is crucial to our survival in the judicial system and whether or not we are protected in our society. It is the basis for much of our law and how our governmental bodies function.

* Statutes are defined as laws, which are passed by the federal Congress and the various state legislatures. These statutes are the basis for statutory law. The legislature passes statutes, which are later put into the federal code of laws or pertinent state code of laws.

* Statutory law also includes local ordinances, which is a statute passed by a county government to guard areas not covered by federal or state laws. Statutory law also covers areas, which are governed exclusively by statutory law and where case law has no impact.

* Corporate law and wills and probate administration are two areas governed by state statutes while patent, copyright and trademark laws are governed by federal statutes.

* Statutory law differs from common law, which is that law which is announced in court decisions or case laws. Statutory law constituted a small part of our law compared to common law during the early years of the development of our nation. Since that time statutory law has expanded considerably by codifying, or arranging topically, common law doctrines through the enactment of statutes.

Statutory law has also formed out of necessity. Certain businesses need to be regulated, as do some activities. The Environmental Protection Agency is an agency, which has statutes and regulations to protect the public and enforce laws. Having bodies of law in...
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