Thursday, September 12, 2013
Law - "Federal Statutes: A Beginner’s Guide" and more
The Library of Congress has posted this valuable "beginner's" guide.
But that is just the beginning to mastering the federal statutes. What does this mysterious statement mean:
The Code is divided into titles according to subject matter. Some are called positive law titles and the rest are called non-positive law titles.Here is the answer:
The distinction is legally significant. Non-positive law titles are prima facie evidence of the law, but positive law titles constitute legal evidence of the law in all Federal and State courts (1 U.S.C. 204).This and more is explained in this article called "Positive Law Codification" by the Unitied States Code Office of the Law Revision Counsel.
Having, on one hand, non-positive law titles as prima facie evidence of the law, and on the other hand, positive law titles as legal evidence of the law, means that both types of titles contain statutory text that can be presented to a Federal or State court as evidence of the wording of the law. The difference between "prima facie" and "legal" is a matter of authoritativeness.
Here is another article that was eye-opening to me when I read it the first time. "Lost Laws: What We Can’t Find in the United States Code," by Will Tress. (If it sounds familiar, I posted about it some time ago.)
Finally, "Don’t Forget Non-code Statutes" is an article in the June/July 2013 Virginia Lawyer.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 12, 2013 03:06 PM
Posted to General Law Related