Law

Law in the United States

A rule of conduct issued or embraced by the authority of government. Law is a manifestation of sovereign power and must be obeyed by all who are subject to it. Laws are enforced in the courts, and sanctions may be imposed for violations of the law. Law has several origins. The primary source is a constitution. Law may also derive from acts of legislative bodies or rulings of administrative agencies. Custom or tradition is also a source of law, including common law or remedies of equity. Several kinds of law take their name from the sources or origins identified above. Law established by a constitution is called constitutional law, for example. There are other categories of law as well. Law that concerns itself with content is called substantive law. Such law, for example, defines inappropriate conduct and establishes punishments that may be imposed for engaging in the proscribed conduct. Procedural law, on the other hand, speaks to processes of law or the manner in which the law is applied. Criminal law and civil law are two other classes of law. Criminal law deals with conduct formally proscribed by government. Criminal law usually comes in the form of statute and substantively defines a broad range of crimes. Constitutions and statutes set forth safeguards for processing those accused of criminal behavior. Civil law reaches noncriminal conduct between or among individuals or groups. Civil law focuses largely on such matters as property, legal injury, and contracts. (1)

Analysis and Relevance

Law is a body of rules and standards coming from government. In a democratic political system, law not only sets the standards but establishes the processes through which enforcement occurs. Law may establish standards by prohibiting certain conduct because it directly harms persons or property. Other actions may be proscribed even though they do not directly cause harm. Laws requiring the feeding of parking meters or prohibiting the running of a private lottery are of this kind. Law may also extend benefits to certain people. Defining eligibility for food stamps, particular tax deductions, or agricultural subsidies reflects the authoritative “allocation of value” function of law. In addition, law creates regularity and predictability. Such regularity helps to deter arbitrary conduct by private parties as well as public officials.

Law Definition

That which is established; a rule or method of action. A distinction is to be observed in the outset between the abstract and the concrete meaning of the word. In the broadest sense which it bears when used in the abstract law, it is the science which treats of the theory of government. In a stricter sense, but still in the abstract, it is the aggregate of those rules and principles enforced and sanctioned by the governing power in a community, and according to which it regulates, limits, and protects the conduct of members of the community. In the abstract sense, it includes the decisions of courts 164 Wis. 228. Used in the concrete, law Is a rule of action prescribed by a superior. 1 Bl. Comm. 38. In a stricter concrete sense, it is a rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state. 1 Steph. Comm. 25. In the strictest sense, it is a statute; a rule prescribed by the legislative power. 10 Pet. (U. S.) 18. Used without an article prefixed, the abstract sense is generally intended; with an article, the sense is usually concrete.

Law is used to denote the system of the common law, as distinguished from equity. See “Equity.” It is also used in contradistinction to “fact.” See “In Law.” Arbitrary law. A law or provision of law so far removed from considerations of abstract justice that it is necessarily founded on the mere will of the law-making power, so that it is rather a rule established than a principle declared. The principle that an infant shall not be bound by his contract is not arbitrary; but the rule that the limit of infancy shall be twenty-one years, not twenty nor twenty-two, is arbitrary. The term is also sometimes used to signify an unreasonable law, one that is in violation of justice. Irrevocable laws. All laws which have not in their nature or in their language some limit or termination provided are, in theory, perpetual; but the perpetuity is liable to be defeated by subsequent abrogation.

It has sometimes been attempted to secure an aJasolute perpetuity by an express provision forbidding any abrogation. But it may well be questioned whether one generation has power to bind their posterity by an irrevocable law. See this subject discussed by Benth. Works, vol. 2, pp. 402-407; and see Dwarr. St. 479. Municipal law is a system of law proper to any single state, nation, or community. See “Municipal Law.” Penal law is one which inflicts a penalty for its violation. Positive law is the system naturally established by a community, in distinction from “natural law.” A private law is one which relates to private matters which do not concern the public at large. A prospective law or statute is one which applies only to cases arising after its enactment, and does not affect that which is already past. A public law is one which affects the public, either generally or in some classes. A retrospective law or statute is one that turns backward to alter that which is past, or to affect men in relation to their conduct before its enactment. These are also called “retroactive law.” In general, whenever a retroactive statute would take away vested rights, or impair the obligation of contracts, it is in so far void. 3 Dall. (Pa.) 391. But laws which only vary the remedies, or merely cure a defect in proceedings otherwise fair, are valid. (3)

Law in this Encyclopedia

The law is treated in a number of entries in this Encyclopedia. For a description of legal training and a general background, see legal profession. Entries that delineate the relationship of law to political structures are constitution; ideology; political party; political system. For articles that discuss the importance of law regarding social justice and other social issues, see human rights; land reform; and social service.

Law in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

Link Description
Law Law in the World Legal Encyclopedia.
Law Law in the European Legal Encyclopedia.
Law Law in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia.
Law Law in the UK Legal Encyclopedia.
Law Law in the Australian Legal Encyclopedia.

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Definition in the American Encyclopedia of Law for Law

Resource Description
Law in the Dictionaries Law in our legal dictionaries
Law in the U.S. Dictionaries Law in the American legal Dictionary
https://lawi.us/law The URI of Law (more about URIs)

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Law in the Legislative Process

A piece of enacted legislation. Under the United States Constitution, a bill becomes a law after it passes both houses of Congress and is signed by the president.

Basic Meaning of Law

Law means: a rule of action prescribed by an authority able to enforce its will.

“Trial by a Judge Upholds Respect for the Law” Explained

References

See Also

  • Jury System
  • Judge
  • Jury

law Background

Resources

See Also

  • Legislative Power
  • Act
  • Legislative History
  • Legislative Ethics
  • Legislative Session
  • Legislature
  • Legal Topics
  • Judicial process;
  • Political anthropology;
  • Sanctions
  • Authority
  • International Order
  • Justice
  • Sovereignty
  • Rule of Law
  • Crime
  • Criminology;
  • Legal Aid
  • Legislative Commissions
  • Legislative Branch
  • Legislation
  • Executive Branch
  • Legislative Function
  • Government;
  • Judiciary
  • Jurisprudence
  • Legal Systems
  • Litigation
  • Regulation
  • Constitutional Law (Judicial Function)
  • Jurisprudence (Judicial Function)
  • Statute (Judicial Function)
  • Adjective Law
  • Canon Law
  • Civil Law
  • Code
  • Colonial Laws
  • Commercial Law
  • Consuetudinary Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Foreign Law
  • Game Laws
  • Insolvency
  • Military Laws
  • Retrospective Law

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Law from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California
  2. Id.
  3. This definition of Law is based on the Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread.

Further Reading (Books)

“Andersonm, James N. D. (editor) 1963 Changing Law in Developing Countries. New York: Praeger.

Arens, Richard; and Lasswell, Harold D. 1961 In Defense of Public Order: The Emerging Field of Sanction Law. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Becker, Howard S. 1963 Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance. New York: Free Press.

Berger, Morroe (1952) 1954 Equality by Statute: Legal Controls Over Group Discrimination. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Berle, Adolf A. 1959 Power Without Property: A New Development in American Political Economy. New York: Harcourt.

Berman, Harold J. (1950) 1963 Justice in the U.S.S.R.: An Interpretation of Soviet Law. Rev. & enl. ed. Cam-bridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press. ? First published as Justice in Russia: An Interpretation of Soviet Law.

Carlin, Jerome E. 1962 Lawyers on Their Own: A Study of Individual Practitioners in Chicago. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers Univ. Press.

Carlin, Jerome E. 1966 Lawyers’ Ethics: A Survey of the New York City Bar. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Cohen, Julius; Robson, Reginald A. H.; and Bates, Alan 1958 Parental Authority: The Community and the Law. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers Univ. Press.

Davis, F. James et al. 1962 Society and the Law: New Meanings for an Old Profession. New York: Free Press.”

Further Reading (Books 2)

“Dicey, Albert V. (1905) 1962 Lectures on the Relation Between Law and Public Opinion in England, During the Nineteenth Century. 2d ed. London and New York: Macmillan. ? A paperback edition was published in 1962.

Durkheim, ÉMILE (1893) 1960 The Division of Labor in Society. Glencoe, 111.: Free Press. ? First published as De la division du travail social.

Durkheim, ÉMILE (1950) 1958 Professional Ethics and Civic Morals. Glencoe, 111.: Free Press. ? First published, posthumously, as Lecons de sociologie: Physique des moeurs et du droit.

Eels, Richard 1962 The Government of Corporations. New York: Free Press.

Ehrlich, Eugen (1913) 1936 Fundamental Principles of the Sociology of Law. Translated by Walter L. Moll with an introduction by Roscoe Pound. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press. ? First published as Grundlegung der Soziologie des Rechts.

Evan, William M. (editor) 1962 Law and Sociology: Exploratory Essays. New York: Free Press.

Friedman, Lawrence M. 1965 Contract Law in America: A Social and Economic Case Study. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press.

Friedmann, Wolfgang (1944) 1960 Legal Theory. 4th ed. London: Stevens.

Friedmann, Wolfgang 1959 Law in a Changing Society. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

Fuller, Lon L. 1964 The Morality of Law. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press.

Geiger, Theodor (editor) 1964 Vorstudien zu einer Soziologie des Rechts. Berlin and Neuwied: Luchter-hand. ? See especially “Internationale Bibliographic der Rechtssoziologie” by Paul Trappe.

Gurvitch, Georges D. (1940) 1947 Sociology of Law. Preface by Roscoe Pound. London: Routledge. ? First published in French.”

Further Reading (Articles)

“Hall, Jerome (1935) 1952 Theft, Law and Society. 2d ed. Indianapolis, Ind.: Bobbs-Merrill.

Hart, H. L. A. 1961 The Concept of Law. Oxford: Clarendon.

Hazard, John N. 1953 Law and Social Change in the U.S.S.R. London: Stevens.

Hazard, John N. 1960 Settling Disputes in Soviet Society: The Formative Years of Legal Institutions. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Hurst, James W. 1950 The Growth of American Law: The Law Makers. Boston: Little.

Hurst, James W. 1960 Law and Social Process in United States History. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Law School.

Hurst, James W. 1964 Law and Economic Growth: The Legal History of the Lumber Industry in Wisconsin; 1836–1915. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.

Kalven, Harry; and ZEISEL, HANS 1966 The American Jury. Boston: Little.

Lev, Daniel S. 1965 The Lady and the Banyan Tree: Civil-law Change in Indonesia. American Journal of Comparative Law 14:282-307.

Lindesmith, Alfred R. 1965 The Addict and the Law. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

Llewellyn, Karl N. (1928-1960) 1962 Jurisprudence: Realism in Theory and Practice. Univ. of Chicago Press.

Llewellyn, Karl N. 1960 The Common Law Tradition: Deciding Appeals. Boston: Little.

Macaulay, Stewart 1963 Non-contractual Relations in Business: A Preliminary Study. American Sociological Review 28:55-67.”

More Related Articles

“Mannheim, Hermann 1946 Criminal Justice and Social Reconstruction. London: Routledge.

Matza, David 1964 Delinquency and Drift. New York: Wiley.

Pound, Roscoe 1959 Jurisprudence. 5 vols. St. Paul, Minn.: West. ? Volume 1: Jurisprudence: The End of Law. Volume 2: The Nature of Law. Volume 3: The Scope and Subject Matter of Law. Volume 4: Application and Enforcement of Law. Volume 5: The System of Law. Volume 1 reviews the main literature of sociological jurisprudence.

Renner, Karl (1929) 1949 The Institutions of Private Law and Their Social Functions. London: Routledge. ? First published as Die Rechtsinstitute des Privatrechts und ihre soziale Funktion: Ein Beitrag zur Kritik des biirgerlichen Rechts.

Schubert, Glendon 1960 Quantitative Analysis of Judicial Behavior. Glencoe, 111.: Free Press.

Schur, Edwin M. 1965 Crimes Without Victims. Engle-wood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Simon, Rita (JAMES) 1967 American Jury —The Defense of Insanity. Boston: Little.

Simpson, Sidney P.; and Stone, Julius (editors) 1948–1949 Cases and Readings on Law and Society. 3 vols. St. Paul, Minn.: West.

Skolnick, Jerome H. 1966 Justice Without Trial. New York: Wiley.

Tappan, Paul W. 1947 Delinquent Girls in Court: A Study of the Wayward Minor Court of New York.New York: Columbia Univ. Press.” “Timasheff, Nicholas S. 1939 An Introduction to the Sociology of Law. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ., Committee on Research in the Social Sciences.

Vinogradoff, Paul 1920-1922 Outlines of Historical Jurisprudence. 2 vols. Oxford Univ. Press. ? Volume 1: Introduction; Tribal Law. Volume 2: The Jurisprudence of the Greek City.

Von Mehren, Arthur T. (editor) 1963 Law in Japan: The Legal Order in a Changing Society. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.

Weber, Max (1922a) 1954 Max Weber on Law in Economy and Society. Edited, with an introduction and annotations by Max Rheinstein. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press. ? First published as Chapter 7 of Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft.

Weber, Max (1922b) 1957 The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. Edited by Talcott Parsons. Glencoe, 111.: Free Press. ? First published as Part 1 of Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft.” “Berman, Harold J. (1950) 1963 Justice in the U.S.S.R.: An Interpretation of Soviet Law. Rev. & enl. ed. Cam-bridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press. ? First published as Justice in Russia: An Interpretation of Soviet Law.

Davis, E. Eugene 1962 Legal Structures in a Changing Society. Pages 196–226 in F. James Davis et al., Society and the Law: New Meanings for an Old Profession. New York: Free Press. ? Summarizes, from a lawyer’s point of view, the administrative problems of the contemporary United States court system.

Davis, F. JAMES et al. 1962 Society and the Law: New Meanings for an Old Profession. New York: Free Press. ? A symposium in which sociologists collabo-rated with lawyers. Chapter 1, “The Sociological Study of Law,” is especially useful for its summary of sociological interest in law in the United States since 1900.

Durkheim, ÉMILE (1893) 1960 The Division of Labor in Society. 2d ed. Glencoe, 111.: Free Press. ? First published as De la division du travail social.

Ehrlich, Eugen (1913) 1936 Fundamental Principles of the Sociology of Law. Translated by Walter L. Moll with an introduction by Roscoe Pound. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press. ? First published as Grundlegung der Soziologie des Rechts.

Evan, William M. (editor) 1962 Law and Sociology:Exploratory Essays. New York: Free Press. ? See especially “Public and Private Legal Systems,” pages 165–184. Argues that the modern democratic state contains a plurality of legal orders.” “Hoebel, E. Adamson 1954 The Law of Primitive Man:A Study in Comparative Legal Dynamics. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.

Maine, Henry J. S. (1861) 1960 Ancient Law: Its Connection With the Early History of Society, and Its Relations to Modern Ideas. Rev. ed. New York: Dutton; London and Toronto: Dent. ? A paperback edition was published in 1963 by Beacon.

Marx, Karl; and ENGELS, FRIEDRICH (1848-1898) 1962 Selected Works. Volume 2. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House.

Montesquieu (1748) 1962 The Spirit of the Laws. 2 vols. New York: Hafner. ? First published as De I’esprit des lois.

Parsons, Talcott 1962 The Law and Social Control. Pages 56–72 in William M. Evan (editor),Law and Sociology: Exploratory Essays. New York: Free Press.

Ross, Edward A. 1901 Social Control: A Survey of the Foundations of Order. New York and London: Macmillan.

Schwartz, Richard D.; and MILLER, JAMES C. 1964 Legal Evolution and Societal Complexity.American Journal of Sociology 70:159–169.” “Stone, Julius (1946) 1950 The Province and Function of Law: Law as Logic, Justice, and Social Control; a Study in Jurisprudence. Sydney: Associated General Publications; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press. SUMNER, WILLIAM G. (1906) 1959 Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals. New York: Dover. ? A paperback edition was published in 1960 by the New American Library.

Torgersen, Ulf 1963 The Role of the Supreme Court in the Norwegian Political System. Pages 221–244 in Glendon A. Schubert (editor),Judicial Decision-making. New York: Free Press.

Weber, Max (1922) 1954 Max Weber on Law in Economy and Society. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press. ? First published as Chapter 7 of Max Weber’s Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, published posthumously; Weber died in 1920. His earliest contributions to the sociology of law date from the 1890s, and the topic was rarely absent from his subsequent writings.

Wigmore, John H. (1928) 1936 A Panorama of the World’s Legal Systems. 3 vols. Washington: Washington Law Book. ? A historical survey of 16 legal systems.” “The Availability of Counsel and Group Legal Services: A Symposium. 1965 U.C.L.A. Law Review 12:279–463. ? Contains a foreword and eight articles.

Berle, A. A. JR. 1933 Modern Legal Profession. Volume 9, pages 340–346 in Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences. New York: Macmillan.

Blaustein, Albert P.; and Porter, Charles O. 1954 The American Lawyer: A Summary of the Survey of the Legal Profession. Univ. of Chicago Press. ? Valuable as a bibliographical source.

Cahn, Edgar S.; and Cahn, Jean C. 1964 The War on Poverty: A Civilian Perspective. Yale Law Journal 73:1317–1352.

Carlin, Jerome E. 1962 Lawyers on Their Own: A Study of Individual Practitioners in Chicago. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers Univ. Press.

Carlin, Jerome E. 1966 Lawyers’ Ethics: A Survey of the New York City Bar. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Eulau, Heinz; and Sprague, John D. 1964 Lawyers in Politics: A Study in Professional Convergence. Indianapolis, Ind.: Bobbs-Merrill.

Hazard, John N. 1960 Settling Disputes in Soviet Society: The Formative Years of Legal Institutions. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

Hurst, James W. 1950 The Growth of American Law: The Law Makers. Boston: Little.

Jackson, Richard M. (1940) 1964 The Machinery of Justice in England. 4th ed. Cambridge Univ. Press.

Kadish, Sanford H. 1961 The Advocate and the Expert—Counsel in the Peno–Correctional Process. Minnesota Law Review 45:803–841.” “Kirchheimer, Otto 1961 Political Justice: The Use of Legal Procedure for Political Ends. Princeton Univ. Press.

Lasswell, Harold D.; and Mcdougal, Myres S. 1943 Legal Education and Public Policy: Professional Training in the Public Interest. Yale Law Journal 52:203–295.

O’Gorman, Hubert J. 1963 Lawyers and Matrimonial Cases: A Study of Informal Pressures in Private Professional Practice. New York: Free Press.

Plucknett, Theodore F. T. (1929) 1956 A Concise History of the Common Law. 5th ed. London: Butter-worth. ? See especially pages 79–289, “The Courts and Profession.”

Pound, Roscoe 1953 The Lawyer From Antiquity to Modern Times: With Particular Reference to the Development of Bar Associations in the United States. St. Paul, Minn.: West.

Riesman, David 1954 Individualism Reconsidered, andOther Essays. Glencoe, I11.: Free Press. ? See especially pages 440–466, “Toward an Anthropological Science of Law and the Legal Profession.”

Schacht, Joseph (1950) 1959 The Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence. Oxford: Clarendon.

Smigel, Erwin O. 1964 The Wall Street Lawyer: Professional Organization Man. New York: Free Press.

Weber, Max (1922) 1954 Max Weber on Law in Economy and Society. Edited, with an introduction and annotations by Max Rheinstein. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press. ? First published as Chapter 7 of Max Weber’s Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft.” “Allen, Carleton K. (1927) 1958 Law in the Making. 6th ed. Oxford Univ. Press.

Bohannan, Paul 1957 Justice and Judgment Among the Tiv. Published for the International African Institute. Oxford Univ. Press.

Cohen, Jonathan; and Hart, H. L. A. 1955 Symposium: Theory and Definition in Jurisprudence. Pages 213–264 in Aristotelian Society,Proceedings, Supplementary Volume 29: Problems in Psychotherapy and Jurisprudence. London: Harrison.

Cohen, Morris R. 1950 Reason and Law: Studies in Juristic Philosophy. Glencoe, I1L: Free Press. ? A paperback edition was published in 1961 by Collier.

Ehrlich, Eugen (1913) 1936 Fundamental Principles of the Sociology of Law. Translated by Walter L. Moll with an introduction by Roscoe Pound. Cam-bridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press. ? First published as Grundlegung der Soziologie des Rechts.

Gluckman, Max 1955 The Judicial Process Among the Barotse of Northern Rhodesia. Manchester Univ. Press; Glencoe, 111.: Free Press.

Haar, Barend ter (1939) 1948 Adat Law in Indonesia. Translated and edited with an introduction by E. Adamson Hoebel and A. Arthur Schiller. New York: Institute of Pacific Relations, International Secretariat. ? First published as Beginselen en stelsel van het adatrecht.

Hart, H. L. A. 1954 Definition and Theory in Jurisprudence.Law Quarterly Review 70:37–60.” “Hart, H. L. A. 1961 The Concept of Law. Oxford: Clarendon.

Hoebel, E. Adamson 1954 The Law of Primitive Man: A Study in Comparative Legal Dynamics. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.

Jones, Harry W. 1962 Law and the Idea of Mankind. Columbia Law Review 62:753–772.

Kantorowicz, Hermann 1958 Definition of Law. Edited by A. H. Campbell. Cambridge Univ. Press. ? Published posthumously.

Kantorowicz, Hermann; and Patterson, Edwin W. 1928 Legal Science: A Summary of Its Methodology.Columbia Law Review 28:679–707.

Llewellyn, Karl N.; and Hoebel, E. Adamson 1941 The Cheyenne Way: Conflict and Case Law in Primi-tive Jurisprudence. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press.

Malinowski, Bronislaw (1926) 1961 Crime and Custom in Savage Society. London: Routledge. ? A paperback edition was published in 1959 by Little-field.

Malinowski, Bronislaw 1945 The Dynamics of Culture Change: An Inquiry Into Race Relations in Africa. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press. ? A paperback edition was published in 1961.

Pospisil, Leopold 1958 Kapauku Papuans and Their Law. Yale University Publications in Anthropology, No. 54. New Haven: Yale Univ., Department of Anthropology.

Radcliffe-Brown, A. R. 1934a Sanction, Social. Volume 13, pages 531–534 in Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences. New York: Macmillan. ? Reprinted in the author’s Structure and Function in Primitive Society.

Radcliffe-Brown, A. R. 1934b Law, Primitive. Volume 9, pages 202–206 in Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences. New York: Macmillan.” “Radin, Max 1940 Law as Logic and Experience. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press.

Stone, Julius 1964 Legal System and Lawyers’ Reasonings. Stanford Univ. Press.

Stone, Julius 1966 Social Dimensions of Law and Justice. Stanford Univ. Press.

Timasheff, Nicholas S. 1939 Introduction to the Sociology of Law. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, Committee on Research in the Social Sciences.

Williams, L. Glanville 1945 International Law and the Controversy Concerning the Word “Law.”British Year Book of International Law 22:146–163.

Williams, L. Glanville 1945–1946 Language and the Law.Law Quarterly Review 61:71–86, 179–195, 293–303, 384–406; 62:387–406.” “Charter of Paris for A New Europe, 21 November 1990. In International Legal Materials 30 (1991): 190 ff. Also available at www.ejil.org.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, opened for signature Mar. 1, 1980, G.A. Res. 34/180, U.N. GAOR, 34th Sess., Supp. No. 46, at 193, U.N. Doc. A/34/46 (1979), 1249 U.N.T.S. 13, reprinted in 19 I.L.M. 33 (1980) (entered into force on Sept. 3, 1981). One hundred sixty-three states are party to the treaty. Also available at www.un.org.

Dworkin, Ronald. Taking Rights Seriously. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1977.

——. “Natural’ Law Revisited.” University of Florida Law Review 34 (1982): 165–188.

Finnis, John. Natural Law and Natural Rights. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.

Hart, H. L. A. The Concept of Law. Oxford: Clarendon, 1961.

Hart, Henry M. Jr., and Albert M. Sacks. The Legal Process: Basic Problems in the Making and Application of Law. Prepared from the 1958 tentative edition by and containing an introductory essay by William N. Eskridge Jr. and Philip P. Frickey. Westbury, N.Y.: Foundation, 1994.

Horwitz, Morton J. The Transformation of American Law, 1870–1960: The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Dec. 21, 1965, 660 U.N.T.S. 195 (entered into force on Jan. 4, 1969; and for the United States on Nov. 20, 1994). One hundred fifty-two states are party to the treaty. See U.S. Department of State, Treaties In Force 427 (1997). Also available at www.unhchr.ch.” “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, U.N.G.A. Res. 2200 A (xxi), 999 U.N.T.S. (Dec. 16, 1966); International Legal Materials 6 (1967): 368 ff. Also available at www.unhchr.ch.

Lasswell, Harold D. Politics: Who Gets What, When, How. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936.

Lasswell Harold D., and Myres S. McDougal. Jurisprudence for a Free Society: Studies in Law, Science, and Policy. Boston: Nijhoff, 1991.

——. “Legal Education and Public Policy: Professional Training in the Public Interest.” Yale Law Journal 52 (1943): 203 ff.

Marmor, A. “An Essay on the Objectivity of Law.” In Analyzing Law: New Essays in Legal Theory, edited by Brian Bix. Oxford: Clarendon, 1998.

McDougal, Myres S. “The Comparative Study of Law for Policy Purposes: Value Clarification As an Instrument of Democratic World Order.” Yale Law Journal 61 (1952): 915 ff.

McDougal, Myres S., Harold D. Lasswell, and W. Michael Reisman. “Theories about International Law: Prologue to a Configurative Jurisprudence.” Virginia Journal of International Law 8 (1968): 188 ff.

——. “The World Constitutive Process of Authoritative Decision.” In The Future of the International Legal Order. Edited by Richard A. Falk and Cyril E. Black. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1969.

Nagan, Winston P. “Conflicts Theory in Conflict: A Systematic Appraisal of Traditional and Contemporary Theory.” New York Law School Journal of International and Comparative Law 3 (1982): 343 ff.

——. “Dunwody Commentaries: Not Just a Descending Trail: Traversing Holmes’ Many Paths of the Law.” Florida Law Review 49 (1997): 463 ff.” “Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971.

Statute of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, adopted at New York, May 25, 1993, S.C. Res. 827, U.N. SCOR, 48th Sess., 3217th mtg., at 1–2, U.N. Doc. S/RES/827 (1993), reprinted in International Legal Materials 32 (1993): 1159 ff. Also available at www.un.org.

Statute of the International Tribunal for Rwanda, adopted at New York, Nov. 8, 1994, S.C. Res. 955, U.N.SCOR, 49th Sess., 3453d mtg., U.N. Doc. S/RES/955 (1994). Reprinted in International Legal Materials 33 (1994): 1598 ff. Also available at www.ictr.org.

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Winston P. Nagan” “Edsall, Thomas Byrne, and Mary D. Edsall. 1991. Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics. New York: Norton.

Kinder, Donald R., and Lynn M. Sanders. 1996. Divided by Color: Racial Politics and Democratic Ideals. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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Pollack, Andrew. 2005. Two Illegal Immigrants Win Arizona Ranch in Court. New York Times, August 19.
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Finnis, John. 1981. Natural Law and Natural Rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fuller, Lon. 1969. The Morality of Law. 2nd ed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Gardner, Brian A., ed. 2004. Black’s Law Dictionary. 8th ed. St. Paul, MN: Thomson West.

Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, John Jay, et al. 2003. The Essential Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, ed. David Wootten. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett.

Hart, H. L. A. [1961] 1994. The Concept of Law. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Unger, Roberto Mangabeira. 1983. The Critical Legal Studies Movement. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Micah J. Watson” “Laws of Cyprus with Commentary in World Intellectual Property Rights and Remedies, Mondaq Business Briefing; March 14, 2014; Livera, Ramona
Top law firms in New Hampshire in 2006.(MARKETING & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES)(Directory), New Hampshire Business Review; July 14, 2006
Top law firms in New Hampshire in 2009.(MARKETING & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES)(Directory), New Hampshire Business Review; July 31, 2009
LAW SCHOOL TO HOST NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED INSTITUTE, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; December 10, 2008
Law Schools Struggle to Shore Up Appeal as Costs Rise, Jobs Disappear, The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA); October 20, 2013
Law School Gets the Job Done, Sunday Gazette-Mail; February 10, 2013; Bowman, Gregory
`Law Readers’ Take an Unusual Road to the Va. Bar, The Washington Post; August 10, 1994; Michael D. Shear
LAW SCHOOL BELONGS AT UB, NOT DOWNTOWN, The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY); February 26, 1994; THOMAS E. HEADRICK
LAWS NO LONGER BARRIER TO UNIVERSAL HIV TESTING IN MOST STATES, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT SAN FRANCISCO REPORTS, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; May 12, 2011
Law School ‘January-Term’ Attracts Top Legal Scholars, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; January 11, 2014
Law firms promote diversity, Central Penn Business Journal; May 26, 2006; Dagan, David
Law’s Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters, The Cato Journal; April 1, 2000; Tabarrok, Alexander
LAW SCHOOL ACHIEVES STRONG PLACEMENT IN SURVEY, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; March 30, 2007
Law for foreign lawyers made to harmonise with BTA, THE VIETNAM INVESTMENT REVIEW, Vietnam Investment Review; August 11, 2003
Law schools growing, but jobs aren’t, Charleston Daily Mail; June 17, 2008; JUSTIN POPE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Wayne Law Patent Clinic Benefits Students, Local Businesses, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; July 13, 2013
Law Librarianship in the Twenty-First Century, Feliciter; March 1, 2008; Quoika-Stanka, Wanda
Laws against human trafficking, The Nation (Thailand); January 7, 1998
Law schools’ survival may lie in helping debt-ridden students, Missouri Lawyers Media; November 28, 2011; Christine Simmons
Laws redrafted to fall in with economic shift, China Daily; January 5, 2006; Cai Dingjian”

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Law: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Law. This part provides references, in relation to Law, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Law by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Law and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Law or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Law and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Law. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Law should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Law when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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