By August 9, 2017 Read More →

‘It’s The Law’ by Greg Wilson- ‘Laws, Acts, Regulations and Statutes’

There are rules and regulations everywhere you look, and it’s important to be cognizant of the law.  As they say, ‘Ignorance of the law is no excuse’, and a number of laws are important to know and understand.  In this series of articles, we will be explaining some of the laws with which you should probably be familiar, and giving common definitions of some of the terms used in the legal system.  Here is an assortment of definitions used in law in Florida.

What is the law in Florida?

Pursuant to the state constitution, the Florida Legislature has enacted legislation, called “chapter laws” or generically as “slip laws” when printed separately.  These are in turn compiled into the Laws of Florida and are called “session laws”.  The Florida Statutes are the codified statutory laws of the state.

What is a state statute?

A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city or country.  Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy.

What is the Florida statutes?

Florida Statutes—a permanent collection of state laws organized by subject area into a code made up of titles, chapters, parts, and sections.  The Florida Statutes are updated annually by laws that create, amend, transfer, or repeal statutory material.

What is the Florida Administrative Code?

The Department of State’s Administrative Code and Register Section is the filing point for rules promulgated by state regulatory agencies.  Agency rulemaking is governed by Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, the Administrative Procedures Act.

What is the difference between a statute and a law?

“Law” refers to the entire body of statutory, administrative, and common law provisions that regulate our society.  A “statute” is the specific, codified statement of some law that has been approved by the legislative body (and often endorsed by the executive body) of a government.

Where are statutes published?

Newly enacted laws are published chronologically, first as separate statutes in “slip law” form and later cumulatively in the bound volumes of the Statutes at Large.  Additionally, most statutes are also incorporated into the United States Code (U.S.C.).

What is the difference between statutory and constitutional law?

The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  State statutes cannot violate the state constitution, the federal constitution, or federal law.  The term “statute” simply refers to a law enacted by a legislative body of a government, whether federal or state.

What is regulatory law vs statutory law?

Common Law is created by judicial action, through the decisions of courts or other tribunals.  Statutory Law is created by legislative action, through the passing of Statutes.  Regulatory Law is created by executive action, such as rules issued by agencies of the executive branch.

What is the federal statute?

Federal statutes are laws enacted by Congress with (and in some circumstances without) the approval of the President.  Federal statutes are published in three formats: (1) initially as individual slip laws, (2) in compilations of slip laws known as session laws, and (3) as codified law incorporated into a code.

Is an act a law?

A bill is proposed legislation under consideration by a legislature.  A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive.  Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an Act or a statute.

What is a regulation in law?

A regulation is a rule of order having the force of law, prescribed by a superior or competent authority, relating to the actions of those under the authority’s control.  Regulations are issued by various federal government departments and agencies to carry out the intent of legislation enacted by Congress.  Regulations are the product of administrative agencies rule-making authority.  They regulate or control the activity which is subject to their authority.

What is the statutory law?

Statutory Law is the term used to define written laws, usually enacted by a legislative body.  Statutory laws vary from regulatory or administrative laws that are passed by executive agencies, and common law, or the law created by prior court decisions.

Are laws and regulations the same thing?

Although the effect of laws and regulations can often be the same, it is important to understand how they are different.  Laws are the products of written statutes, passed by either the U.S. Congress or state legislatures.  The legislatures create bills that, when passed by a vote, become statutory law.  Regulations are the product of administrative agencies rule-making authority.  They regulate or control the activity which is subject to their authority.

What is the difference between common law and case law?

The main difference between the two systems is that in common law countries, case law- in the form of published judicial opinions- is of primary importance, whereas in civil law systems, codified statutes predominate.  But these divisions are not as clear-cut as they might seem.

What is the common law based on?

Definition of common law: The body of law developed in England primarily from judicial decisions based on custom and precedent, unwritten in statute or code, and constituting the basis of the English legal system and of the system in all of the U.S. except Louisiana.

Why is the common law important?

Common Laws are important because of the importance of Precedent.  In a common law system, judges are obliged to make their rulings as consistent as reasonably possible with previous judicial decisions on the same subject.  The Constitution accepted most of the English common law as the starting point for American law.

What is the state law?

State law refers to the law of each separate U.S. state.  The states retain plenary power to make laws covering anything not preempted by the federal Constitution, federal statutes, or international treaties ratified by the federal Senate.

What is the meaning of constitutional law?

Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary.  Constitutional law deals with the fundamental principles by which the government exercises its authority.

What is the rule in law?

An established standard, guide, or regulation governing conduct, procedure, or action.  The word rule has a wide range of meanings in the law, as in ordinary English.  As a verb, it most commonly refers to the action of a court of law in settling a legal question. When a court rules, the decision is called a ruling.

What is an example of the rule of law?

The property rights component is an assessment of the ability of individuals to accumulate private property, secured by clear laws that are fully enforced by the state.  It measures the degree to which a country’s laws protect private property rights and the degree to which its government enforces those laws.

What is the difference between common law and civil law?

Legal systems around the world vary greatly, but they usually follow civil law or common law. In common law, legal precedents or judicial rulings are used to decide cases at hand.  Under civil law, codified statutes and ordinances rule the land.

What is a common law system?

A common law system is the system of jurisprudence that is based on the doctrine of judicial precedent, the principle under which the lower courts must follow the decisions of the higher courts, rather than on statutory laws.

This series is not meant to constitute legal advice, and you should always consult an attorney when in doubt, when making life-changing legal decisions or when accused of a crime.  If you have a suggestion for an article, please submit your idea in email to

Greg Wilson is an attorney practicing law in the greater Panama City, Florida area, with offices in Marianna, Chipley, Bonifay, Blountstown and Panama City.  For more information please call Greg Wilson at 850-600-7088 or visit his website at




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