Regulations, or rules established by government agencies, may seem very similar to Statutory Laws because they usually involve the exact wording and the same types of penalties if broken. They can differ in that regulations are issued by executive agencies and typically do not have the same force of law as statutes.

Unlike common law (based on accumulated case decisions), statutory laws (such as the Personal Information Protection Act) are generally strictly interpreted by courts. This means that courts usually cannot read between the lines and nuance the strict interpretation of the expressed terms of a given statute; instead, they will be bound by its express terms.

As legislative enactments, statutory laws follow the usual process of legislation. However, legislatures can also pass laws without stopping to debate them if a supermajority agrees to the proposal.

Written laws can become effective on a set date. Many jurisdictions then periodically update their legal codes through codification. These codes can be updated automatically; for example, the Uniform Commercial Code is updated continuously as economic needs change.