What is the relationship among statutes, regulations, and case law?

Why is case law such an integral part of our legal system? How do decisions differ among various district courts?

A statute is a written law, passed by an elected body.

A regulation is a rule written by an agency.

Case law is the history of how an issue has been settled by other courts.

For example, Congress passes a bill that says "You have to have a license to fly an airplane. The FAA will issue licenses to qualified people." That’s a Statute.

Then the FAA publishes rules that say "to be issued a pilots license you must be 16 years old and clever". That’s a regulation.

Joe is denied a pilots license because the FAA says he isn’t clever enough. He goes to court and sues them. The court says just "clever" isn’t clear enough, so they will consider anyone with an IQ of over 120 to be "clever" for the purposes of getting a license. That’s case law.

That’s a statute.

Richard

Post Author: mark

1 thought on “What is the relationship among statutes, regulations, and case law?

    rickinnocal

    (January 23, 2010 - 11:00 am)

    A statute is a written law, passed by an elected body.

    A regulation is a rule written by an agency.

    Case law is the history of how an issue has been settled by other courts.

    For example, Congress passes a bill that says "You have to have a license to fly an airplane. The FAA will issue licenses to qualified people." That’s a Statute.

    Then the FAA publishes rules that say "to be issued a pilots license you must be 16 years old and clever". That’s a regulation.

    Joe is denied a pilots license because the FAA says he isn’t clever enough. He goes to court and sues them. The court says just "clever" isn’t clear enough, so they will consider anyone with an IQ of over 120 to be "clever" for the purposes of getting a license. That’s case law.

    That’s a statute.

    Richard
    References :

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