Statute law is written law passed by legislatures. It is different than judge-made common law or case law. Statute laws are laws that are formally established to deal with specific situations, and written down in code books.
In common law societies such as England, Canada, and the United States, law is made by two distinct bodies. The legislature makes some laws, and judges make other laws. In the US, this distinction is set forth by separation of powers rules in the Constitution.
When the legislature makes a law, it is considered statute law or statutory law. The legislature can make a law on anything that they have the power to govern. In the United States, for example, state legislatures are vested with the power to make laws on property and divorce, among other things, while federal legislatures are allowed to make laws on matters governing interstate commerce and on issues such as international relations.
The legislature, unlike the courts, does not have to have a "case" before it to make a law. If the legislature has the authority to make a law about something and it believes that it is a good idea to make a law, it is permitted to do so. Judges, on the other hand, can only make law when a case comes before them and they make law in the form of establishing precedent in that particular case.
The procedures for making statute law by the legislature differ depending on how the government is set up in the particular country. In the United States, for example, bills are proposed which are suggested laws. The bills must then be approved by the House and the Senate, and signed by the president in most cases, if the law is to be a federal law.
The legislature sets forth a rule in statute law, and that rule eventually becomes the law after passing through the appropriate process and receiving the required number of votes. Eventually, all of the statutory laws are published and codified in code books. Before this occurs, the statutory laws are still the law, but the laws are published in special addendums to existing code books and/or on government websites.
Statues cannot possibly cover every situation and are not always completely clear on their face. As a result, courts can sometimes be called upon to interpret statute law, and/or statutes may create agencies and vest those agencies with the power to interpret the law. Both courts and state agencies must interpret any statutes by understanding the legislature's intent behind the statute and remaining true to the statute's plain language and purpose.