Research Guides

TMLL Research Guide - Chapter 4


TERMINOLOGY USED IN STATUTORY RESEARCH


Constitution The highest form of law in the legal system, containing fundamental principles that govern a country and/or state
Public Laws Laws intended to be of general application
Private Laws Laws passed for the benefit of an individual or small group of individuals
Slip Law Separate publication of an individual act; may be distributed in pamphlet or electronic form
Session Laws Publication of the laws enacted during a particular legislative session; laws are presented in chronological order; publication of bound official versions is often slow
Advance Legislative Service Commercial publishers print session laws in pamphlet form before official versions are available; usually shelved at the end of an annotated code set 
Code Subject compilation of the public laws currently in force in a particular jurisdiction 
Annotated Code Contains references to cases and other research aids in addition to the text of the code
Title May refer to the overall organizational scheme of a code, i.e. Title 18 of the U.S. Code includes federal criminal laws; or, may refer to the organizational scheme of a particular law, i.e. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex-based discrimination in employment (42 U.S.C. § 2000e)
Uniform Law Drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws; states may adopt in its entirety or with changes; original versions of uniform laws are found in Uniform Laws Annotated which also contains notes on the status of adoption in the various states and references to state court decisions
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