Statute - Common Law: A Symbiotic Relationship

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Statute Law is the law that has been prepared by the Commonwealth State and Territory Parliaments and Common Law is referred to the law that is made by the judges of both the common law and unbiased jurisdiction. The statute and common law are a part of the incorporated system of the laws under the constitution. It is said that the statute and common law have a symbiotic relationship. Both these laws interrelate directly and indirectly.

What is Statute Law?

Statute Law is the legislation that has been passed by the Parliament. The terms ‘statute’ and ‘legislation’ may be used interchangeably. It is in the hands of both the State Parliament and Federal Parliament to pass the laws in the jurisdiction of their own areas. It is the responsibility of every State to take care of various government aspects such as the roads, transport, and education etc. because of which there is a difference between the laws of the states. The statutes passed by the Federal Parliament applies to all of Australia. The Parliament deals with the issues related to the defense, national health, colonization, and trade.

The body of law that consists of the written laws that are adopted by the legislative body is the statute law. The statute law is often compared with the case law, that is originated from the decisions of the appellate courts and with the constitutional law that is based on the country’s written constitution.

What is Common Law?

Common Law is referred to as the body of the law that was developed from the judicial decisions of the courts and similar tribunals. The common law is the standard law in the books. Common law influences the process of making decisions in novel cases in which the outcome cannot be determined on the basis of the current statutes. Common law is also known as the case law that depends upon the illustrated records of similar cases and statutes. This is because there is no legal code that can be applied.

Difference between common and statuary law  

In the common law the decisions are made by the judges on the basis of the past forms for the similar cases. Whereas the statutory law is a formal written document that has been established by the legislative body. Statute law is responsible for the behavior of the members.

Judges get the instruction by the common law about the decision that must be rendered to a particular case. On the other hand, the statutory law proposes the suitable rules of the society.

Common law is a type of procedural law as it constitutes of the set of rules that help in controlling the court proceedings. And the statutory law is fundamental in nature as it mentions the rights and duties that the citizens must know and also the penalty for the non-compliance of the rules. 


Summarizing the discussion, the statutory law is more commanding than the common law as the statute law holds prominence over the latter. Hence, in case of contradiction, the statutory law is likely to prevail. As discussed earlier, the statutory law is just a regulation that is made by the government or the parliament. Whereas, the common law is a law that is a result of the decisions made by the judges in the court of justice. Both these laws don’t exist independently of one another and are said to have a symbiotic relationship.