Law Category Explanations

All questions on IsThatLegal.org are separated into four categories of law. Below we have provided brief descriptions of each of those categories so that you can know what kind of questions to expect under each.

Administrative Law

Administrative law encompasses laws and legal principles governing the administration and regulation of government agencies (both Federal and state). Such agencies are delegated power by Congress (or in the case of a state agency, the state legislature) to act as agents for the executive. Generally, administrative agencies are created to protect a public interest rather than to vindicate private rights.

Definition provided by the Cornell University Law School Website

Common Law

The body of law that developed over many years in England based on court decisions and custom, as compared to written statutes (codifications of the law).¬†Colonists¬†imported England’s common law to what became the United States, and it survives today, greatly expanded and changed by the published decisions of American courts. Many common law principles, however, have been codified in state statutes.Only Louisiana does not take as its basic law the English common law; instead, that state’s law is based on France’s Napoleonic Code.

Definition provided by Nolo Law

Constitutional Law

The broad topic of constitutional law deals with the interpretation and implementation of the United States Constitution. As the Constitution is the foundation of the United States, constitutional law deals with some of the fundamental relationships within our society. This includes relationships among the states, the states and the federal government, the three branches (executive, legislative, judicial) of the federal government, and the rights of the individual in relation to both federal and state government. The area of judicial review is an important subject within Constitutional Law. The Supreme Court has played a crucial role in interpreting the Constitution. Consequently, study of Constitutional Law focuses heavily on Supreme Court rulings.

While the topic also covers the interpretation and implementation of state constitutions, without qualification it is usually understood as referring to the Federal Constitution.

Definition provided by Cornell University Law School Website

Statutory Law

Statutory Law is a written law within state or federal legislation. Statutes are propositions of law that courts enforce according to specific situations. The process of creating a statute starts with the proposition of a bill by a legislator. After the bill is accepted by the legislative committee and is approved by the houses of the legislature, the bill becomes law.

Definition provided by HG.org