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Not to be confused with The Sources of English Law.

Sources of law means the origin from which rules of human conduct come into existence and derive legal force or binding characters.It also refers to the sovereign or the state from which the law derives its force or validity.

Several factors of law have contributed to the development of law. These factors are regarded as the sources of law.


Precedent is one of the sources of law. The judgements passed by some of the learned jurists became another significant source of law. When there is no legislature on particular point which arises in changing conditions, the judges depend on their own sense of right and wrong and decide the disputes. Such decisions become authority or guide for subsequent cases of a similar nature and they are called precedents. The dictionary of English law defines a judicial precedent as a judgement or decision of a court of law cited as an authority for deciding a similar state of fact in the same manner or on the same principle or by analogy. Precedent is more flexible than legislation and custom. It is always ready to be used.


A custom is a rule which in a particular family or in a particular district or in a particular section, classes or tribes, has from long usage obtained the force of law. The dictionary of English law[citation needed] defines custom as a law not written, which being established by long use and consent of our ancestors has been and daily is put into practice. Custom as a source of law got recognition since the emergence of sovereignty on the horizon of jurisprudence. It is an exemption to the ordinary law of the land, and every custom is limited in its application. They are practices that have to be repeated for a period of time.


Legislation is that source of law which consists in the declaration of legal rules by a competent authority. Legislature is the direct source of law. Legislature frames new laws, amends the old laws and cancels existing laws in all countries. In modern times this is the most important source of law making. The term legislature means any form of law making. Its scope has now been restricted so a particular form of law making. It not only creates new rules of law it also sweeps away existing inconvenient rules.

From the definition of politician Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, defines legislation as Legislation (or "statutory law") is law which has been promulgated (or "enacted") by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it. (Another source of law is judge-made law or case law.) Before an item of legislation becomes law it may be known as a bill, and may be broadly referred to as "legislation" while it remains under consideration to distinguish it from other business. Legislation can have many purposes: to regulate, to authorize, to proscribe, to provide (funds), to sanction, to grant, to declare or to restrict.it can also be redistricted.

Statutory interpretation[edit]

See also: Judicial review

Interpretation is a very important function of the court, the process of ascertaining the meaning of letters and expressions by the court is either interpretation or construction. Interpretation is the process of which the court seeks to ascertain the Meaning of a particular legislature. It is through interpretation, the judiciary evolves the law and brings the changes in it and thus keeps the law abreast of law.

Preparatory works[edit]

Main article: Legislative history

In some legal cultures some of the documents produced in the process leading up to legislation are subsequently used as guidelines on how to interpret and understand an act of legislation.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sources_of_law — Please support Wikipedia.
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7 news items

Middle East Monitor

Middle East Monitor
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:37:30 -0700

These examples eventually came to be one of the sources of law in Islam, known collectively as the sunnah, the sayings and way of life of the Prophet, made up of individual hadith, or examples. Neither the Qur'an nor the sunnah contained instructions ...


Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:56:15 -0700

Detailing Treasury's response point by point (“IRS claims statutory authority for FATCA agreements where no such authority exists”), and quoting the texts of the sections cited, she concludes: “None of these sources of law contain any authorization to ...
Insurance News Net
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:34:22 -0700

With so many different sources of law and regulation in the United States , the FTC can also play a harmonizing role. The broad scope of Section 5, which allows the FTC to respond to many different kinds of threats to data protection, can obviate the ...
Gibraltar Chronicle
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 01:26:15 -0700

The chapter deals with a range of academic and legal topics such as financial services regulation, sources of law and dispute resolution. It also includes an analysis of recent developments and looks towards upcoming changes within the local insurance ...
New York Law Journal (registration)
Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:17:32 -0700

Lest this article's author be considered an alarmist, this article now considers other sources of law, state or federal, that might potentially mitigate the very substantive and certainly nontechnical import of the general charitable purposes provision ...

the Diplomat

the Diplomat
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:47:05 -0700

Yet despite these challenges, for almost 1300 years, the Qur'an and the Sunnah have remained the primary sources of law for Muslims. There were misapplications of the Shari'ah by certain rulers, yet there was never a blatant rejection of the primary ...
JD Supra (press release)
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:30:47 -0700

Article 24 provides that the sources of law to be used in the unified court system are: European Union law, the agreement itself, the EPC, other international agreements applicable to patents that are binding on all of the contracting countries and ...

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