Legal Question in Constitutional Law in Maryland

Difference Between Laws and Acts

What is the difference between a law and an act?

Asked on 9/17/01, 12:32 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lawrence Holzman Holzman Law Firm, LLC

Re: Difference Between Laws and Acts

What we recognize as the "Law" is derived from two basic sources: (a) "common law", which is developed based on the principal of "precedents". Courts hear cases and when they make decisions on certain issues those decisionsy can be binding on later cases that have similar issues;

(b) statutory law: the second source of law is when a legislative body such as congress passes a law. Such statutory law is enacted as "Acts" -- it's called that because such law is derived from an "act" of the legislative body.

So, to answer your question:

1. "Acts" ARE Statutes --- that is, they are laws made by congress.

2. "Law" in general includes both common law and statutes.

Lawrence R. Holzman, Esquire

Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, P.A.

6404 Ivy Lane, Suite 400

Greenbelt, MD 20770

(301) 220-2200

fax (301) 220-1214

Disclaimer: Please note that the posting of this response is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain information applicable to your situation. This posting is not confidential or privileged and does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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Answered on 10/30/01, 7:56 am

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