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Law Library

Sources of Law and Types of Authority: Types Of Authority

Primary vs Secondary


  • Authoritative Texts
    • From authoritative sources
    • Cases, Statutes, Regulations, etc.


  • Commentary
  • Explanations
  • Descriptions
  • Summaries
  • Statements

About the authoritative texts and what sort of 'law' they produce

Mandatory vs Persuasive

-What has to be followed versus whay may be followed

  • Mandatory is almost always Primary
  • Mandatory must be followed

  • BUT Primary is NOT always Mandatory
    • Jurisdiction Dependent (Usually)

-Persuasive authority may be followed, but no court or other entity is required to do so

  • Persuasive authority may be primary or secondary