A statute is a written law passed by a state or federal legislature that creates a rule or regulation. Statutes (also called legal codes) provide the authority for other laws. Many state and federal agencies, such as the IRS, EPA and state Secretaries of State may issue regulations for the areas of the law they cover. A statute usually commands something, prohibits something or declares something to be policy. When there is a dispute over the meaning of a statute, a state or federal court may issue a judgment that interprets the statute more clearly. When this happens it also becomes case law.
Before a statute becomes law in some countries, it must be agreed upon by the highest executive in the government. Then it is published as part of a legal code. In many countries, statutes are organized (or codified) for a particular jurisdiction. In many nations statutory law is distinguished from and is subordinate to constitutional law.