What is the difference between constitutional law, statutory law, and common law in Florida?

There are three basic types of law in the United States:

Constitutional law

The law in the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions. It includes such fundamental rights as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression etc. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. No law can be enacted that contravenes the provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

Statutory law

Law enacted by legislature.  Congress, state and municipalities all have legislative bodies that make laws.  It is created through a formal lawmaking process and codified in official text. ( Example: When the Florida Legislature passes a bill, such as the recent primary seat belt law - it is a Staturtory Law.)

Common law

Began in England when law was derived from common practices.  Common law includes "judge-made laws" and relies on judicial precidents (case law).  Judges, thus, in their decisions are bound by precedent: the rulings of other judges in similar cases decided earlier. (All the states except for Louisiana are common law states, Florida is a common law state).

Continue Reading: What is the difference between criminal and civil wrongs?

Jeffrey Meldon
Founder of the Meldon Law Firm