VI. Glossary

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This page will highlight a few areas for analysis.

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CUSTOMARY PRACTICES – Customary practices are traditional norms or behaviors that are accepted and practiced by members of a community.

FORMAL LAW – Formal law is the law that applies in the state-administered justice system.

FREE ONLINE DATABASES – Free online databases are collections of online materials that are open to the general public to access at no cost.

INFORMAL LAW – Informal laws are the norms and rules that are generally accepted by a group of people, which are often based on the authority of local, tribal, or religious leaders.

JURISDICTION – In legal research, jurisdiction can have two different meanings: (1) the authority of a court or tribunal that has authority to make a legally binding decision on certain disputes or cases; or (2) a geographical territory in which a particular body of law applies.

OPEN ACCESS REPOSITORIES – Open access repositories are databases of materials that provide the public with free and unrestricted access to academic scholarship.

PRIMARY AUTHORITY – Primary authority refers to the law itself (e.g. cases, statutes, regulations, court decisions, etc.).

PRINT MATERIALS – Print materials are resources that are available in print or paper (non-electronic) format.

RELIGIOUS LAW – Religious laws are moral or ethical rules dictated by religious traditions. Examples of religious law include Islamic law, Canon law, and Hindu law.

SECONDARY SOURCES – Secondary sources are any materials that are not primary authority. Usually, this term refers to articles, legal encyclopedias, books, writings, or commentaries about laws and legal information.

SUBSCRIPTION DATABASES – Subscription databases are collections of information that are limited to users who have paid to access the information or have an institutional affiliation that provides access.