governmental agencies such as the Department of
Transportation, the Department of State, the Depart-
ment of Agriculture, and the Department of Defense.
For example, the Department of the Navy has issued the
U.S. Navy Regulations, 1990. These regulations are not
constitutional law because they are not founded in the
U.S. Constitution nor any state constitution. They are
not statutory law since neither Congress nor any state
legislature enacted any law regarding Navy regulations.
They are not case law since they did not come into effect
as a result of a case decision. Navy regulations were
written by the Navy to regulate behavior within the
Department of the Navy and as such are administrative
in nature. Although some of the regulations may be
punitive, they are still administrative law.
A fifth source of law is really nothing more than a
combination of any or all of the previous four sources.
A good example of this type of law is the Manual for
Courts-Martial (MCM). Congress enacted the Uniform
Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) as law. The Congress
also enacted a law giving the President of the United
States, as the Commander in Chief, the power to enact
rules that are necessary to regulate and govern the armed
forces, including the enforcement of the UCMJ. The
President did this by issuing what is called an Executive
Order placing the MCM into effect.
The MCM contains the procedural rules for the
proper conduct of trials, known as the Rules for Courts-
Martial or R.C.M. The MCM also contains the rules
governing what items may be admitted into evidence.
These rules are known as the Military Rules of Evidence
or Mil.R.Evid. Some of these rules are based on consti-
tutional law such as the rule that gives all military
accused the right to counsel. The MCM also contains
statutory law such as the UCMJ. Moreover, the MCM
refers to case law for some rules. The MCM also con-
tains administrative law that provides the rules that must
be followed to hold a court-martial. As you can see, the
MCM contains many different types of law and is a
good example of a combination of laws.
From all the previously mentioned sources, you
should be able to see that a great deal of law is written
on many topics virtually every day. For the attorneys to
be effective at their jobs, it is critical that they have
access to the most recent law in any given area. The
lawyers must also be able to rely on the information that
is available in the law library. Therefore, it is very
important that you maintain the library and keep it as
up to date as possible.
Official v. Unofficial
Many field libraries contain both official and unof-
ficial sets of books. There are some differences between
them. A set of books is considered official when one of
the two following tests is met:
. If the book is published pursuant to some sort of
statutory direction or law, then it is considered to be the
official set of books to report the laws or cases within
the jurisdiction of the legislative body that enacted the
statute. For example, there is a federal statute that states
that the United States Code (U.S.C.) will be the official
set of books to report all the statutes enacted by the U.S.
Congress. Any other set of books that reports these same
statutes would be considered unofficial.
. The other test is met when the author of the book
allows a publisher to print the material. Since the author
has given permission for the printing, it is considered
official. If you authored a book and then authorized a
certain publisher to print it, you then would consider
that publishers printing of your book to be the official
version and any other printing by another publisher to
be unauthorized and thus considered unofficial.
Most libraries contain official and unofficial sets of
books that report the same cases. For example, the
U.S.C. is the official set of books that reports the statutes
enacted by Congress. Additionally, two unofficial sets
of books that report the same law are the United States
Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.) and the United States Code
You may ask yourself why there are three sets of
books that report the same thing? There are several
reasons a command might want to subscribe to the
unofficial set of books as well as the official set of
books. The unofficial sets often extend beyond a single
jurisdictional boundary and will report the case for an
entire geographical area rather than for a single state.
For example, the Atlantic Reporter, part of the National
Reporter System, covers the cases for the states of
Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey,
Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington,
DC. When several states report cases in a single set of
books, you can see why the set of books would be
published sooner than publishing one set for each state.
The unofficial sets are usually uniform in how the
material is indexed. West Publishing Company, for
example, uses the system known as the key numbering
system for all its books.