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What is statutory law?

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Statutory law is law created by the deliberate acts of an elected legislature comprised of lawmakers that vote bills into law after drafting, debating and amending proposed bills. Statutory law can be created at all levels of government: federal, state, county, city, and township. Statutes are limited to the jurisdiction that created them, in the case of the lowest levels of government, or may apply to their own jurisdiction as well as to levels of government below them that fall under their jurisdiction.

Statutory law is distinct from common law which is created by judicial rulings which may clarify and extend statutory law in cases that are ambiguous or require interpretation. Common law develops over time as precedents are set and followed, and sound legal principles are consistently applied over time to address new cases and novel situations.

Statutory law is also distinct from administrative law which is created by government agencies authorized by legislators through the agency's executive administrators and bureaucrats. These rules and regulations are just as binding as statutory law and common law.

Just as statutory law may be modified or extended through judicial rulings of the common law, common law may be altered or amended by statutory law from a legislature.

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