Public Lessons from Private Laws

Gwen Sinclair


A casual glance at a volume of Statutes at Large reveals that the laws are presented in two sections: public laws and private laws. While most documents librarians are familiar with public laws, so named because they have general applicability, private laws may be less familiar. A private bill, according to Hinds’ Precedents, is “a bill for the relief of one or several specified persons, corporations, institutions, etc., and is distinguished from a public bill, which relates to public matters and deals with individuals only by classes.”1

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