Administrative Law Vs Statutory Law USA

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Administrative Law Vs Statutory Law

There has been a lot of comparison of administrative law vs statutory law. More often than not, a lot of people do not understand that administrative law (or regulatory law) and statutory law (or statutes) are not the same and they serve different purpose in a country.

Both administrative law and statutory law are necessary laws in a country. For the sake of such people and others, this article will dissect administrative law vs statutory law for anyone to understand.

Administrative Law

Administrative law is a branch of public law that governs the establishment, duties, powers and organization of administrative agencies of the government. The administrative law is passed by executive arms of the government. The purpose of administrative law, among other purposes, is to check the abuse of power in a country. The actions of administrative agencies include rulemaking and adjudicating a specific regulatory agenda. These agencies are commission, departments, boards and divisions.


Rulemaking is an agency process for formulating, amending or repealing a rule. A rule is “the whole or part of an agency statement of general or particular applicability and future effect designed to implement, interpret or prescribe law or policy. The types of rulemaking include formal, informal, hybrid and publication.


Apart from rulemaking, administrative agencies also have the authority to adjudicates (or enforce) rule and regulations through hearing and decision making process. Adjudication is the process by which an agency formulates an order.

Agency adjudication is divided into formal and informal. Formal adjudication involves hearing with testimony, a written record and a final decision while informal adjudication is a decision making process which may or may not require a hearing.

Statutory Law

Statutory laws are written and codified laws enacted by the legislative body of a county, state or federal government. They are applied in the country’s courts for legal adjudication of cases.

Federal statutory laws are enacted by the US congress. It is introduced or motioned as a bill to the House of Representative and the Senate. The bill will be reviewed by special committee after which it is voted on by the House and the Senate.

If it is approved, it is presented to the president who has the right to veto (disapprove) or approve it. After its approval, the law will be formalized with a number and title and published in the United States code legal books.

State and local governments’ statutory law follows the same process with the state governor and chairman respectively disapproving or approving the law.

Administrative Agency and Statutory Law

Administrative law vs statutory law become interwoven as  administrative agencies implement statutory law (statutes) through their rulemaking and adjudicating powers. Each of the administrative agency is responsible for a particular area of the law, interpreting the law and applying guudelines  to help enforce it.

Federal and state administrative agencies possess the power to issue regulations and administrative orders from statues passed by US congress and the state legislative body respectively.