The Interplay between Sources of Law

Fundamentals of Procedural Law

Adam J. McKee, Ph.D.


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In researching a particular legal issue, you are likely to find that more than one primary source of law applies to any given factual situation.  As a practical matter, statues and the cases that explain and clarify those statutes cannot be disentangled. The legal research process dictates that when you are researching constitutions, statutes, and administrative regulations, you must also determine if there are court cases that have considered the meaning of those statutes.  In practice, the provisions of legislative enactments mean precisely what appellate judges say they mean. The newer the statute and the less severe the sanction for violating the statute, the fewer cases you will find that interpret the statute. The older the statute and the more severe the sanction for violating the statute, the more cases you will find interpreting it.  Ancient common law offenses that tend to have harsh criminal penalties such as rape and murder will have many, many cases that interpret the provisions of the statute.

Modification History

File Created:  08/04/2018

Last Modified:  08/04/2018

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This work is licensed under an Open Educational Resource-Quality Master Source (OER-QMS) License.

Open Education Resource--Quality Master Source License


 

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