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Difference between common and statutory law

How does common law differ from statutory law?

The concept of common law vs. statutory law can be very confusing. Concise definitions are given with examples of each. Answer is original work derived from several years of teaching American Government.

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Statutory law are laws or statutes that are enacted by legislative bodies, such as US Congress or state legislatures, the people through referendum or vote, or other local legislative bodies. A very simple example: it is a law that you must stop at a red light.

Common law is unwritten, ...

Solution Summary

A concise description of the difference between common law and statutory law. Includes simple examples to illustrate each type of law.