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Page Title: Official v. Unofficial
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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 publisher’s 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 Service (U.S.C.S.). 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. 2-2

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