Common Law v. Regulatory Law

Common Law v. Regulatory Law

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Common Law v. Regulatory Law

Regulatory law, sometimes called administrative law, refers to a part of the legal system that governs agencies that enforce laws to the general public. Government agencies are separate entities that the Government uses to delegate certain tasks.

Government agencies will be responsible for administering rules and regulations that affect specific areas of life. For example, there are Government agencies that are responsible for enforcing laws in specific areas of life, such as traffic tickets.

Common law, on the other hand, will be based on precedence. Prior judgments will be used to rule on cases with similar circumstances. Common law is often referred to as case law or judge-made law because a judge's ruling will sometimes form new laws. 

Regulatory law generally refers to law enforcement. Laws of the common law system will be influenced by both statutory and regulatory law. This means that a judge's decision will be supported by both prior decisions and the legislation that is enforced by regulatory agencies. Regulatory agencies of the executive branch of Government will issue rules and regulations for the general public.

Under the laws of common law, there is a system by which precedent will be used, which is why actual common law systems are slightly more complicated than in theory. Interaction with regulatory law will mean that decisions made in higher courts, such as the appellate court, will be binding upon lower courts. Decisions made in lower courts, on the other hand, will not always be binding upon future decisions in appellate courts.

Laws of regulatory agencies are more formal, written legislation. This means that any laws of statute are changed and updated through a process of Government approval. For example, in a civil law system, the rulings of judges are based primarily on the written code. Laws of a common law system will be based on a combination, but rely heavily on precedent. In common law systems it is easier to make gradual adjustments that reflect the changing laws of society. These changes will be less drastic than changes in laws of regulatory agencies.

Although precedent is dominant in a common law system, a judge can sometimes deviate from precedent if the circumstances of the case call for a change. Also, decisions of first impression will make changes in a common law system. Decisions of first impression will occur when there is no precedent that exists to influence a judge's decision on a particular case. This means that the circumstances of the case are unique. When the judge makes a decision, this decision will set precedence.

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