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Legal Research: Legislative History

This guide will describe the basics of doing legal research at the URI Libraries.

Legislative History Basics

Legislative history is the documentation of the passage of a bill through a legislature. Its importance in legal research arises when a law is being challenged in the courts. When hearing a case involving a law, the court will often try to determine what did the legislative body want to remedy with the passage of this law.  This concept is known as "legislative intent". 

Legislative history research is a whole body of research unto itself and beyond the scope of this guide.  For information on how to do research in legislative history for federal law, please see the user guides listed below. 

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Deborah Mongeau
University Libraries

Public Services Department

phone: (401) 874-4610

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