15 Differences between Legislation and Precedent are as follows:
- Generally, the statute law is brief, clear, easily accessible and knowable.
- It can be understood by an ordinary educated person.
- “Ignorantia facti doth excusat; Ignorantia juris non excusat” (Ignorance of fact is an excuse, but ignorance of law is no excuse.) this maxim is concerned with all the people.
- Legislation is a new source of law. At the same time, it has a unique feature, that it can abolish any law or laws which are out-dated. This abrogative power is most advantageous than the other sources of law.
- It allows division of labor. Therefore it increases efficiency. It is one of the advantages of legislation.
- It only makes the law. Making of the law is the only function. It does not enforce the law.
The statues are made by a separate branch of Executives on the instructions of Cabinet of Ministers at centre and states.
- The statute declares certain acts as wrongs and punishable before the commission of the acts to which it applies. It is the advantage of legislation.
- Anticipation is the advantage of legislation. It foresees the consequences of certain wrongs.
- The field of legislation is vast. It can fill up the vacancy. Whenever a defect of lacuna is seen, legislation comes into play.
- Legislation is complete, certain and systematic.
- It assumes the form of abstract propositions.
- Salmond says: – “Statute law is coin of the realm ready for immediate use…
- Legislation is a Latin word. Legis + Lation. Legis = law; Lation = make. It is “Litra scripta” i.e. it is embodied in an authoritative form of written words.
- Law is codified.
- Case law is very minute, complex and not easy to understand.
- It can be understood only by lawyers, judges and jurisprudents.
- Ignorance of precedent is not concerned with the ordinary person. Precedent is concerned only by lawyers, judges and jurisprudents.
- Precedent has only constitutive efficiency. It produces a very good law. Its operation is irreversible. It cannot go back upon its footsteps.
- It interprets the minutest points of man’s thoughts and applies it.
- It makes the law and enforces it.
- It is only judge-made law.
- First a wrong act was occurred. Thereafter the Court interpreters its character, circumstances. Case-law operates retrospectively.
- Anticipation is quite inconsistent with precedent. The term ‘precedent’ itself denotes seeing back.
- Concerning precedent, there must be a problem remained ‘unsettled’.
- Case law is incomplete, uncertain and unsystematic.
- It is merged in the concrete details of the actual cases.
- While case law is gold in the mine- a few grains of the precious metal to the ton of useless matter.”
- The duty of Court is to interpret the “letter of the law”. Case-law has no letter of the law itself.
- The precedents are compiled in journals only.