Public Policy

Public Policy in United States

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Public Policy Definition

The criterion by which the courts condemn contracts as opposed to the public will, or as tending to subvert the public welfare. Thus, public policy invalidates contracts tending to immorality, as for the rental of a brothel (27 Mo. App. 649), or in consideration of future illicit cohabitation (58 Ala. 303; 57 Hun [N. Y.] 292); contracts facilitating divorce (89 111. 349; 25 Minn. 72) ; contracts in unreasonable restraint of trade (49 N. J. Eq. 217) ; combinations to restrict competition (90 Cal. 110; 68 N. Y. 568) ; contracts to unfairly influence an appointment or election to public ofiice (8 Kan. 601; 23 Mo. App. 555) ; to unlawfully influence legislation (88 Mass. 152) ; to limit the jurisdiction of courts, as by agreeing not to sue in a particular court (94 U. S. 535) ; to compound a criminal offense (83 111. 418) ; to restrict competition at a public sale, as by agreeing not to bjid thereat (47 Ga. 479). And the agreement need only tend to illegality. Thus, an agreement for witness’ fees contingent on the success of the party for whom the witness is to testify (10 Ala. 206), or for a fee to a private prosecutor contingent on a conviction (62 Ky. 207), or by an attorney to defend against offenses to be committed in the future (41 Kan. 364), are void as against public policy.

Public Policy in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

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Public Policy Public Policy in the Family Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
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Public Policy Public Policy in the Antritrust Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Public Policy Public Policy in the Bankruptcy Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
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Public Policy Public Policy in the Tax Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Public Policy Public Policy in the and Finance and Banking Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
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Public Policy Public Policy in the Personal Injury and Tort Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Public Policy Public Policy in the Environmental Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.

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Legal Issue for Attorneys

The criterion by which the courts condemn contracts as opposed to the public will, or as tending to subvert the public welfare. Thus, public policy invalidates contracts tending to immorality, as for the rental of a brothel (27 Mo. App. 649), or in consideration of future illicit cohabitation (58 Ala. 303; 57 Hun [N. Y.] 292); contracts facilitating divorce (89 111. 349; 25 Minn. 72) ; contracts in unreasonable restraint of trade (49 N. J. Eq. 217) ; combinations to restrict competition (90 Cal. 110; 68 N. Y. 568) ; contracts to unfairly influence an appointment or election to public ofiice (8 Kan. 601; 23 Mo. App. 555) ; to unlawfully influence legislation (88 Mass. 152) ; to limit the jurisdiction of courts, as by agreeing not to sue in a particular court (94 U. S. 535) ; to compound a criminal offense (83 111. 418) ; to restrict competition at a public sale, as by agreeing not to bjid thereat (47 Ga. 479). And the agreement need only tend to illegality. Thus, an agreement for witness’ fees contingent on the success of the party for whom the witness is to testify (10 Ala. 206), or for a fee to a private prosecutor contingent on a conviction (62 Ky. 207), or by an attorney to defend against offenses to be committed in the future (41 Kan. 364), are void as against public policy.

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Notice

This definition of Public Policy Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

Concept of Public Policy

In the U.S., in the context of Political Economy and Public Policy, Public Policy has the following meaning: A government’s actions or inactions, and the effects of those actions or inactions. Public policy could be defined as decisions and actions, or it could be defined as outcomes of those decisions and actions. (Source of this definition of Public Policy : University of Texas)

Public Policy

Resources

See Also

  • Political Economy
  • Public Policy

Resources

See Also

  • Legal Topics.
  • Government; Policy sciences; Public administration. Specific areas of policy making are discussed inFiscal policy; Foreign policy; Military policy; Monetary policy; National security; Planning, economic; Planning, social; Welfare state. Other relevant material may be found inDecision making; Political process

    Decision-making; Government; Nation-State; Nondecision-making; Political Science; Politics; Public Administration; Public Choice Theory; Public Goods; Public Interest; Public Sector; Public Sphere; Regulation; Research, Trans-disciplinary; Social Science; State, The; University, The; Values; Welfare Economics

    Further Reading (Books)

    Bauer, Raymond A.; Pool, Ithiel de Sola; and Dexter, Lewis A. 1963 American Business and Public Policy. New York: Atherton.

    Berelson, Bernard; Lazarsfeld, Paul F.; and Mcphee, William N. 1954 Voting: A Study of Opinion Formation in a Presidential Campaign. Univ. of Chicago Press.

    Braybrooke, David; and Lindblom, Charles E. 1963 A Strategy of Decision: Policy Evaluation as a Social Process. New York: Free Press.

    Brodie, Bernard 1959 Strategy in the Missile Age. Princeton Univ. Press.

    Dahl, Robert A. (1961) 1963 Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press.

    Edelman, Jacob M. 1964 The Symbolic Uses of Politics. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

    Froman, Lewis A. Jr. 1967 An Analysis of Public Policies in Cities. Journal of Politics 29:94-108.

    Hitch, Charles J.; and Mckean, R. N. 1960 The Economics of Defense in the Nuclear Age. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.

    Huntington, Samuel P. 1961 The Common Defense: Strategic Programs in National Politics. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

    Kahn, Herman (1960) 1961 On Thermonuclear War. 2d ed. Princeton Univ. Press.

    Lipset, Seymour M. 1960 Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. _ A paperback edition was published in 1963.

    Lowi, Theodore J. 1964 American Business, Public Policy, Case-studies, and Political Theory. World Politics 16:677-715.

    Munger, Frank J.; and Fenno, Richard F. Jr. 1962 National Politics and Federal Aid to Education. The Economics and Politics of Public Education, No. 3. Syracuse Univ. Press.

    Olson, Mancur Jr. 1965 The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.

    Schelling, Thomas C. 1960 The Strategy of Conflict. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.

    Wildavsky, Aaron 1962 Dixon-Yates: A Study in Power Politics. Yale Studies in Political Science, Vol. 3. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press.

    Further Reading (Books 2)

    Birkland, Thomas A. 2005. An Introduction to the Policy Process: Theories, Concepts, And Models of Public Policy Making, 2nd ed. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.

    Dunn, William N. 2003. Public Policy Analysis: An Introduction, 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

    McCool, Daniel C., ed. 1995. Public Policy Theories, Models, and Concepts: An Anthology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Moon, Marilyn. 2006. Medicare: A Policy Primer. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press.

    Moran, Michael, Martin Rein, and Robert E. Goodin. 2006. The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Douglas Gomery

    Further Reading (Articles)

    SYSTEM POLICIES UPDATED, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; December 10, 2008

    POLICY ADVICE DURING A CRISIS, Journal of Third World Studies; October 1, 2007; Kimenyi, Mwangi S Mwabu, Germano

    Policies for Transformation: An Evaluation of Educational Policy Developments since 1994, The Journal of Negro Education; October 1, 1997; Ota, Cleaver C.

    Policy-making needs revamping, China Daily; February 2, 2004; Yu Keping

    Policy networks and European Union policy making: a reply to Kassim. (response to Hussein Kassim, West European Politics, vol. 17, p. 15, 1994), West European Politics; April 1, 1995; Peterson, John

    Learning through Policy Variation, The Yale Law Journal; December 1, 2008; Listokin, Yair

    Policy Learning in Policy Domains with Value Conflicts: The Austrian Cases of Abortion and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (1), German Policy Studies; December 22, 2006; GrieBler, Erich Hadolt, Bernhard

    Policies Offered for Review by Campus Community, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; January 23, 2014

    Policy Concertation and Social Partnership in Western Europe. Lessons for the 21st Century..(Book Review), West European Politics; January 1, 2003; Woldendorp, Jaap

    Health Policy Analysis: A Tool to Evaluate in Policy Documents the Alignment between Policy Statements and Intended Outcomes, Australian Health Review; November 1, 2010; Cheung, K. Katherine Mirzaei, Masoud Leeder, Stephen

    Public Policy Analysis, Encyclopedia of Sociology; January 1, 2001

    Policy Entrepreneurs and Social Choice.(Review), Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory; July 1, 2001; Ingram, Helen

    Policies on organ donation after cardiac death vary considerably among children’s hospitals., Heart Disease Weekly; May 31, 2009

    Policy Design for Democracy., American Political Science Review; June 1, 1998; Cahn, Matthew A.

    Policy analysts: shaping society through research and problem-solving., Occupational Outlook Quarterly; March 22, 2007; Blanchard, Sadie

    Policies and Resolutions, Corrections Today; April 1, 2003

    Policy Networks: Empirical Evidence and Theoretical Considerations., West European Politics; July 1, 1994; Wright, Robert

    Policy Analytical Capacity and Evidence-Based Policy-Making: Lessons from Canada, Canadian Public Administration; June 1, 2009; Howlett, Michael

    Monetary Policy Transparency and Private Sector Forecasts: Evidence from Survey Data, Economic Review (Kansas City, MO); June 22, 2008; Sellon, Gordon H., Jr.

    Public Policy, Canadian Encyclopedia; January 1, 2002; ANDR? BERNARD

    Public Policy in 1899 (United States)

    The following information about Public Policy is from the Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States by the Best American and European Writers.

    PUBLIC POLICY. This term, in legal acceptation, denotes the principle fo government and law which aims at the general welfare, as distinguished from the welfare of particular individuals, and courts of law do not allow their decisions to conflict with this public policy. Our tribunals do not confine their justice to the parties before them. As plaintiff and defendant are represented by counsel, so the people is represented by the court, and it is its duty to protect the interests of the people. A litigant might prove the clearest right to relief, so far as his adversary is concerned, and yet if his right would in any way injure the public, it must be denied. There are three kinds of relief which the court is bound to refuse on public grounds, viz.: first, that which conflicts with positive law, the expressed wish and command of the people, e.g., relief based on a contract to evade the revenue laws by smuggling; second, that which is immoral or contra bonos mores, i.e., which would have an immoral effect on the public, such as a judgment for rent under the lease of a house for disorderly purposes; third, all other relief which can interfere with the public welfare. Each of these three classes of cases may property be said to be against public policy, but this expression is usually confined to the last class, and the claims of positive law and public morality are permitted to stand by themselves.

    -The third class of cases is somewhat indefinite. The common law always strove to be definite, and sought for exact precedents, Hence a general discretionary power in the court to declare that a contract or will is avoid as against public policy, would seem to be repugnant to the established rules of law. Such a power has, however, been held to exist, and, as might have been expected, it gained currency in an anomalous way. The general principle, that a condition in a contract which is against the general good can not be enforced, was recognized in England at a very early date in Sheppard’s Touchstone. Bracton hints at it (book III., p. 100), and lord Coke seems to regard as void those conditions which are repugnant to the state. Still, the law on the subject was not developed and formulated until a much later day, when it became closely associated and even identified with the law of wagers. The English judges had by some mischance decided that wagers could be enforced at law, although in other civilized countries the contrary rule prevailed. They discovered afterward how pernicious the effects of betting were, and how much of the time of the courts was wasted in determining trivial questions, [481] but it was too late to retract. They could not then hold all wagers illegal, but they found some relief in the doctrine of public policy. Whenever they could, they decided that particular wagers were invalid, as against public policy, and they displayed considerable ingenuity in extending the number of such cases. Thus, a wager on the sex of a third person was held void, as it tended to call forth indecent evidence, although such evidence would not be considered an objection in any other case. A bet upon an election was not enforced, as it might have influenced votes, and the public is interested in removing such influence from the polls. In short, any wager upon public matters would have been held bad, because it would have created a dangerous interest in public affairs. So in Gilbert vs. Sykes, 16 East, 150, (1812), it appeared that in 1802 Sir Marks Sykes received a hundred guineas from one Gilbert, promising in return to pay Gilbert a guinea a day until the death of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was then first consul. The wager arose out of a conversation upon the probability of his assassination. Lord Ellenborough, the chief justice, said, Whenever the tolerating of any species of contract has a tendency to produce a public mischief or inconvenience, such a contract has been held to be void.

    The court decided that this contract was illegal, as it would naturally create a desire to assassinate a public enemy, contrary to the law of nations. In the case of Eltham vs. Kingsman, 1 Barn. 8 Ald., 683, (1818), the rule was carried to an extreme, although the court disposed of the issue on another point. One proprietor of livery carriages at Cheltenham bet watches with another proprietor that a certain Col. Longford would go to the assembly in his fly by night (a vehicle) and no other. The court held that the wager was void, because it would tend to subject Longford to great inconvenience by exposing him to the importunities of the proprietors of these vehicles, one of the judges remarking that any person who has walked through Piccadilly must be sensible that this is no small inconvenience.

    Finally, those wagers were held bad, 1, which tended to create an improper bias in the mind of a person with relation to some public duty (as in the election case above mentioned), or, 2, which had a tendency to injure third persons or the public. Such wagers were regarded as against public policy.

    -Meanwhile the doctrine of public policy spread through all branches of the law. The courts, after introducing the principle into the law of wagers, soon found that it was applicable to many other subjects of litigation. It has now been definitely settled that any contract or will may be declared void as against public policy, if it be calculated to injure either, 1, the government in its foreign relations, or 2, the government in its domestic relations and the administration of justice, or 3, the public generally by restraining the freedom of individuals. Under the first head, viz., of contracts, etc., injurious to the government in its foreign relations, are included those which benefit an enemy or affront a friendly state. Consequently it is held that as the presumed object of war is as much to cripple the enemy’s commerce as to capture his property, a declaration of war imports a prohibition of commercial intercourse and correspondence with the inhabitants of the enemy’s country, and that such intercourse is illegal, (Esposito vs. Bowden, 7 Ellis 8 Blackb., 763, 779); and a contract between citizens of two countries is annulled by a subsequent war, as it is against public policy to enforce it.

    On the principles of the English law, it is not competent to any subject to enter into a contract to do anything which may be detrimental to the interests of his own country.

    (Furtado vs. Rogers, 3 B. 8 P., 191, 198.) The second division, viz., of contracts, etc., injurious to the government in its domestic relations and the administration of justice, embraces all agreements contemplating the bribery of public officers, executive, legislative or judicial, or of any person having some public duty to perform, such as voting. The leading English case on the doctrine of public policy is Egerton vs. Earl Brounlow, 4 House of Lords Cases, 1, and it has reference to corrupt influence of this kind. The earl of Bridgewater died leaving a will, in which he left a very large estate to a certain legatee on condition that he should obtain the title of duke or marquis of Bridgewater. The house of lords held the condition invalid, as it held out a temptation to the legatee to indulge in bribery in endeavoring to obtain the title. In short, contracts creating an interest at variance with a duty are void. The sale of offices is also against public policy. So is the assignment of salary, not yet due, by a public officer. It is for the interest of the public that he should be able to support himself while he is in office. and he can not place his future salary out of his power. Again, it is illegal to compound a felony or misdemeanor, viz., to refrain from its prosecution for any consideration. This is against public policy, because it frustrates justice; and, for the same reason, maintenance and champerty, i.e., the impertinent encouragement and assistance of litigation by persons who are not interested, vitiates contracts. Agreements not to bid at judicial sales are void, and, indeed, all auction sales are carefully scrutinized to prevent frauds upon the public. Under the third class, viz., of contracts, etc., which are injurious to the public generally, as restraining the freedom of individuals, the most important are contracts made in restraint of trade. A man can not bind himself not to carry on his business. The people at large are interested that he should earn a living for himself and his family, and not become a pauper, and that there should be the freest competition in all trades and professions. The enforcement of contracts, taking away the right of men to pursue their callings, would discourage industry, diminish products, prevent competition, enhance prices, and introduce monopoly. A man may bind himself not to trade within certain limits; e.g., a retiring partner may agree with his copartners [482] not to compete with his firm in a certain town, the seller of a business with the buyer, or a servant with a master who undertakes to teach him the secrets of his art; but these are manifestly wise exceptions, based on peculiar grounds. A father can not abdicate his parental rights. It is the interest of the public that paternal authority should be upheld. An agreement not to marry can not be enforced; nor can an agreement not to marry any one except a certain person: nor a marriage-brocage contract; viz., a promise to pay a person a sum of money if he can induce a certain person to marry the promisor. All these contracts interfere with freedom of choice in marriage, and imperil the happiness of that domestic system in which the people has everything at stake. An agreement to use influence with a testator is also against public policy.

    -But it is needless to multiply instances. The main point to be remembered is, that the court always protects the interests of the people. Enough examples have been cited to show the nature of that protection in England and America. Our judges are always ready to annul engagements which are against public policy, but it is probable that the principle will never be extended much further, for, as has been ably said, it is paramount public policy to allow freedom in making contracts, and to enforce them as made. (19 Equity, 462.)

    -See Pollock on Contracts, 251 et seq.; 1 Story’s Equity Jurisprudence, § 259, note 1; Hubbard, J., in Sedgwick vs. Stanton, 14 New York Reports, 289, 291.

    Author of this text: Ernest Howard Crosby.

    Public Policy in the Context of Resisting Enforcement

    Public Policy as a Ground for Resisting Enforcement of Forum Selection Agreement in International Civil Litigation

    Analysis of the Public Policy as a Ground for Resisting Enforcement of Forum Selection Agreement in relation with the International Forum Selection Agreement.

    Sources of Public Policy

    Read more information about Sources of Public Policy in this American Encyclopedia of Law.

    Picked Source Texts on Public Policy, THE BREMEN v. ZAPATA OFF-SHORE CO. RICHARDS v. LLOYD?S OF LONDON . See Notes on Bremen and Richards

    Read more information about Picked Source Texts on Public Policy, THE BREMEN v. ZAPATA OFF-SHORE CO. RICHARDS v. LLOYD?S OF LONDON . See Notes on Bremen and Richards in this American Encyclopedia of Law.

    Public Policy in the Context of Presumptive Enforceability of Judgments

    Public Policy in International Civil Litigation

    Analysis of the Public Policy

    Concept of Public Policy

    In the U.S., in the context of Political Economy and Public Policy, Public Policy has the following meaning: A government’s actions or inactions, and the effects of those actions or inactions. Public policy could be defined as decisions and actions, or it could be defined as outcomes of those decisions and actions. (Source of this definition of Public Policy : University of Texas)

    Public Policy

    Resources

    See Also

    • Political Economy
    • Public Policy

    Resources

    See Also

    • Choice of Forum Provision
    • Choice of Forum Clause Definition
    • Choice of Forum Clause Sample
    • Forum Selection
    • Choice of Law

    Public Policy in the Context of Forum Requirements and Public Policy Restrictions

    Public Policy as a Basis for Denying Forum Non Conveniens Dismissals in International Civil Litigation

    Analysis of the Public Policy as a Basis for Denying Forum Non Conveniens Dismissals in relation with the Forum Non Conveniens in International Litigation.

    Concept of Public Policy

    In the U.S., in the context of Political Economy and Public Policy, Public Policy has the following meaning: A government’s actions or inactions, and the effects of those actions or inactions. Public policy could be defined as decisions and actions, or it could be defined as outcomes of those decisions and actions. (Source of this definition of Public Policy : University of Texas)

    Public Policy

    Resources

    See Also

    • Political Economy
    • Public Policy

    Resources

    See Also

    • Choice of Forum Provision
    • Choice of Forum Clause Definition
    • Choice of Forum Clause Sample
    • Forum Selection
    • Choice of Law

    Public Policy in the International Business Landscape

    Definition of Public Policy in the context of U.S. international business and public trade policy: A government law or rule that expresses government’s goals and provides rewards and punishment to promote their attainment.

    Iron Triangle in the International Business Landscape

    Definition of Iron Triangle in the context of U.S. international business and public trade policy: A public policy coalition of institutions and individuals that is more or less fixed in its membership and focus.

    Public Policy: 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 Public Policy. This part provides references, in relation to Public Policy, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

    Federal primary materials about Public Policy 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 Public Policy 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 Public Policy 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 Public Policy 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 Public Policy. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Public Policy 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 Public Policy when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

    Tools and Forms

    Law in Other Regions

    *This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

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