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The Collaborative International Dictionary
Public law

Public \Pub"lic\, a. [L. publicus, poblicus, fr. populus people: cf. F. public. See People.]

  1. Of or pertaining to the people; belonging to the people; relating to, or affecting, a nation, state, or community; -- opposed to private; as, the public treasury.

    To the public good Private respects must yield.

    He [Alexander Hamilton] touched the dead corpse of the public credit, and it sprung upon its feet.
    --D. Webster.

  2. Open to the knowledge or view of all; general; common; notorious; as, public report; public scandal.

    Joseph, . . . not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
    --Matt. i. 19.

  3. Open to common or general use; as, a public road; a public house. ``The public street.'' --Shak. public act or public statute (Law), an act or statute affecting matters of public concern. Of such statutes the courts take judicial notice. Public credit. See under Credit. Public funds. See Fund, 3. Public house, an inn, or house of entertainment. Public law.

    1. See International law, under International.

    2. A public act or statute.

      Public nuisance. (Law) See under Nuisance.

      Public orator. (Eng. Universities) See Orator, 3.

      Public stores, military and naval stores, equipments, etc.

      Public works, all fixed works built by civil engineers for public use, as railways, docks, canals, etc.; but strictly, military and civil engineering works constructed at the public cost.

public law

n. (context legal English) A category of law governing the relationship between the state on one hand and persons (citizens or legal persons including corporations) on the other. constitutional law, administrative law and criminal law are some of the major subdivisions of public law.

public law

n. a law affecting the public at large

Public law

Public law (lat. ius publicum) is that part of law which governs relationships between individuals and the government, and those relationships between individuals which are of direct concern to society. Public law comprises constitutional law, administrative law, tax law and criminal law, as well as all procedural law. In public law, mandatory rules prevail. Laws concerning relationships between individuals belong to private law.

The relationships public law governs are asymmetric and unequal – government bodies (central or local) can make decisions about the rights of individuals. However, as a consequence of the rule of law doctrine, authorities may only act within the law (secundum et intra legem). The government must obey the law. For example, a citizen unhappy with a decision of an administrative authority can ask a court for judicial review.

Rights, too, can be divided into private rights and public rights. A paragon of a public right is the right to welfare benefits – only a natural person can claim such payments, and they are awarded through an administrative decision out of the government budget.

The distinction between public law and private law dates back to Roman law. It has been picked up in the countries of civil law tradition at the beginning of the nineteenth century, but since then spread to common law countries, too.

The borderline between public law and private law is not always clear in particular cases, giving rise to attempts of theoretical understanding of its basis.

Public law (disambiguation)

Public law is the area of law concerned with relationship between the state and the citizen.

Public Law may also refer to:

  • Public Law (journal), an academic law journal
  • Public Law (United States), an Act of Congress affecting the general public
    • Public bill, a United States government bill which proposes a public law
  • The Public Law Project, an independent, national legal charity in Great Britain
  • Public international law, law that concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states
Public Law (journal)

Public Law is an academic law journal published four times a year by Sweet & Maxwell. The journal was established in 1956 by J.A.G. Griffith (LSE). Subsequent editors have been: Graham Zellick (Queen Mary, University of London), A.W. Bradley (University of Edinburgh), Dawn Oliver (UCL), Andrew Le Sueur ( Queen Mary, University of London) and Maurice Sunkin (Essex University). Its main focus is on British constitutional and administrative law but it also publishes articles relating to other European and Commonwealth jurisdictions and the USA.

Category:British law journals