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Legal Resources

Legal Resources in the Chalmer Davee Library University of Wisconsin River Falls

Statutory Law

Statutory Law are the laws passed by the legislative branch.

 from the Law Library of Congress: Statutory Law

Statutory law can be found in two types of publications: compilations of statutes or codified laws. Both the compilations and the codes have the same wording, but their formats are different. A federal law is given the number of the U.S. Congress that passed it and a second number that represents the chronological order of its passage. “Pub. L. 88-352” indicates the 352nd law passed by the 88th Congress. After passage, a law is codified, or published according to its subject category. Public Law 88-352 can also be found in the United States Code,  where the citation is 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Remember, though, that not all laws are codified.

If you are looking for statutory law on a general subject, the code is the best place to look. A code usually has a multivolume index that includes the codified laws, which are published there with amendments integrated into the original law, as currently in force. Public laws, however, are separate entities—the original law and each of its amendments remain separate. There is no general index to them. To find a specific public (or session) law, you need to know either the Congress that passed it or the year it was enacted, because indexes are published only at the end of each session of Congress.


United States Statutes at Large 
print versions GOV DOC/ REF  AE 2.111: 1967-current & GOV DOC/ MF   AE 2.111: 1949-1972
The official compilation of the acts and resolutions of each session of Congress. The Statutes at Large consist of two parts, the first comprising public acts and joint resolutions; the second,      private acts and joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions, treaties, proposed and ratified amendment to Constitution and presidential proclamations. The arrangement is by the Public Law    number.

Public and Private Laws, 104th Congress forward

The Public and Private Laws data base is a collection of laws enacted  beginning in 1995 and is prepared and published by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), National Archives and Records Administration.

Consolidations and codifications

United States Code    
print version
GOV DOC/ REF Y 1.2/5:
The consolidation and codification of the general and permanent laws of the United States.  This is the official version of the U.S.Code.

United States Statutes And The United States Code Historical Outlines, Notes, Lists, Tables, and Sources (Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C.)


Wisconsin Statutes 
Consist of the Statutes of 1898 and the additions and amendments and less the repeals made by the legislature. All laws and parts of laws relating to each subject matter are brought together under various headings and arranged systematically.
Wisconsin Acts

Wisconsin Session Laws  
The body of laws enacted by the Wisconsin Assembly during a biennial session. The Acts are published in pamphlet form through out a legislative session.  At the end of the session the Acts are bound, in the order of their enactment, into the Wisconsin Session Laws.


Uniform Codes

Uniform Commercial Code 
This on-line version of the U.C.C. does not include the official comments.  U.C.C. facilitates commerce among  states by providing a uniform set of rules for commercial transactions.