Statutes and Law

Searching Statutes

Statutory Construction

Statutory construction, more in some jurisdictions than in others, is essential to interpreting statutes and understanding the effects of the enactment process by which they are created. See enactment for more information.

Compiled Statutes

See Compiled Statutes.

Statutes Annoted

See Statutes Annoted.

Statutes Contents

Statutes, for example, may contain the following items:

  • Jurisdiction
  • Legislature
  • Regional Government Agencies
  • Fraudulent Claims
  • Administration and Finance
  • Agriculture
  • Employment
  • Commerce
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Securities, Commercial Regulations
  • Natural Resources
  • Environmental Protection
  • Business Development
  • Eminent Domain
  • Children and Families
  • Libraries
  • Health
  • Transportation
  • Labor
  • Industry
  • Licensing
  • Commercial Practices
  • Public Welfare
  • Economic Development
  • Taxation
  • Excise Taxes
  • Public Safety
  • Company Law
  • Trade Regulations
  • Consumer Protection
  • Police Regulations
  • Gaming
  • Retirement
  • Public Services
  • Human Rights
  • Criminals
  • Police Powers
  • Municipalities
  • Judiciary
  • Property Interests and Liens
  • Fiduciaries
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Estates of Decedents
  • Guardianships
  • Judicial Procedure
  • Courts
  • Administrative Remedies
  • Remedies for Possession of Property
  • Juries
  • Judicial Proof
  • Certiorari
  • Crimes
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Incarceration
  • Statutes
  • Statutes Construction

There is more statutes content here.

Statute revisions

Every 10 to 40 years, in most countries a revision of the constitutions and federal statutes takes place. The aim of a statute revision usually is:

  • to suit the statutes to new developments and new political goals
  • to consolidate previous amendments to the statutes, and
  • to improve the wording, style and organisation of the statutes.

Finding amendments to Statutes

Once located a statutory provision, the legal researcher should ensure that this statutory provision is current (similar to good law in caselaw). Dependingo on the jurisdiction, there are a variety of ways to find amendments to a federal statute since the last revision. Bills are available, in general, from official websites.

Statutes Legislative History

Often the legal reasercher needs to know the prior year, chapter, and section numbers of a given statute.This is particularly important when looking for judicial consideration. In some jurisdictions,  this historical information appears in the historical notes of the revised statutory provision.


Citing statutory provisions in some countries may vary between:

  • citing to a (statute) revision. For example, in Canada the researcher must use R.S.C. (for Revised Statutes of Canada)
  • citing a sessional volume. For example, in Canada the researcher must use S.C. (for Statutes of Canada).

Citing all Amendments

Should the researcher cite all amendments when citing a statute?. In general, interpretation acts held that the citation to a piece of legislation is deemed to include all amendments to that piece. Other internal laws or guides state that citations are, in general, presumed to be to the statututory provision as amended. In the case of citations included in agreements, however, the solution is different, since the parties’ intention at the time the agreement is drafted has significance.

United States

State Statutes

Here is an example of list of contents in a U.S. state statutes, by letter:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | W | X | Y | Z

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