How law is made
Our legal system is based on laws made by Parliament and cases decided in courts and tribunals. Law has to be reasonably precise but it must also be possible for the law to change as sociaty develops and changes. The legal system attempts to achieve those two conflicting aims.
Parliament and the law
Laws made by Parliament are supreme over all other law in Britain including law decided by the courts. Acts of parliament start their life as Bills which are discussed by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Bills are usually amended by the two Houses and then become binding at a date decided by Parliament. The law making process does not stop there. Most Acts contain provisions for making Regulations which deal with matters that need to be laid down with greater precision and detail than id needed in Act itself. Government Ministers promote this type of delefated legislation which will itself have to be approved by Parliament. And in some types of legislation Ministers or others are given power to give diections which are themselves legally binding. whe have no written constitutuion so Parliament can always change or repeal laws it has itself made.
The courts and he law
Courts were for centuries the main law makers. A system of law was developed from individual cases both in criminal and non-criminal matters. Decisions by judges establishe precedents which provided principles on which later cases were decided. Only over the last hundred years has the body of law changed significantly because of Parliament's activity. The precedent system still dominates in the courts. The higher the court the more important its decisions. So cases decided by the House of Lords bind all other courts. Those decided by the Court of Appeal bind, usauallt, that court itself and always inferior courts. Cases decided by the High Court will bind County Courts, but not other High Court cases. Decisions of magistares courts, County Courts and Crown Courts will not creat law.