1 An overview of the sources of law
This course introduces you to one of the three main sources of law in England and Wales – that is, statute law, also referred to as legislation. The other two main sources of law are European (EU) law and case law. Figure 1 illustrates the sources of law which govern England and Wales.
It is important to know how these sources of law are created and how they operate in the legal system in England and Wales. Being able to identify the sources of law and the order of ranking is important. These sources are hierarchical and rank in the following order:
Given the hierarchical application of the three main sources of law, you need to be able to discuss the legal rules that apply in different situations. When dealing with a problem or essay question, you may need to consider whether the matter is controlled by EU law, by UK legislation or is governed by a previous decision of a court in England and Wales. Dealing with these sources of law and saying which source will prevail is important.