Statute law

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Statutory law is law whose source is a law . Its application reaffirms the primacy of the rule over the exception .


Depending on the context, the expression statutory law emphasizes different aspects: With regard to its written form, statutory law is in contrast to customary law , which is approved without the written form. With regard to its application, statutory law is in contrast to case law : There, the individual case is inductively inferred from similar cases; in statutory law, the individual case is deductively derived from a legal norm . With regard to its authority, the law of the law is the opposite of the law of the judge : the law is based on the authority of the judge, the law of law on that of a legislature . In terms of how it comes about, statutory law is in contrast to a contract : A contract is created through the agreement of specific persons (see contract theory ), while statutory law through general insight into the need for a supra-personal codified order (see legal positivism ).

According to the continental European view, systematized legal law has a higher priority than case law and judicial law , which are based on the assessment of each individual case.


According to Christian- medieval ideas of justice , grace should always come before law, i.e. the exception should come before the rule. The unifications in the Roman Empire , including the law, appeared as oppression that had been overcome . The arbitrary decisions of legitimate authorities, which were not always mild, took precedence over generalized regulations. Customs served to limit arbitrariness, but not the letter of the law. Because of the individual disadvantages that resulted from this practice, Roman law was increasingly reintroduced since the late Middle Ages .

The social success of strict regulations in the absolutism of the 17th century was fundamental to the modern meaning of continental legal law . Before the French Revolution , he was followed by theories that a norm did not have to mean oppression, but could be the expression of a common will (e.g. Jean-Jacques Rousseau : Du Contrat social , 1762).

Anglo-Saxon law took a different approach, in which (according to the traditional principle of grace) the individual case stands as a potential exception above the generalizing and possibly suppressive rule (cf. Common Law and Equity ).