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Sources of Law - Legislation: United States


This page aims to offer a guidance on where you can locate sources of legislation of the United States, using various categories of resources. Categories of sources include:

*only key materials of the Federal level will be mentioned in this page.


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Official Sources

U.S. (click to visit)

The collections contain comprehensive materials regarding U.S. legislations, committee materials, congressional records, treaty documents, communications and etc. Coverage of materials depends, with selected documents available from 1950s to the present (visit this page for more details). Help Center of this platform also offers useful assistance on how to conduct search here.

The Congress is composed of the U.S. Senate (upper chamber) and the U.S. House of Representatives (lower chamber). You may visit their corresponding websites for records of Bills and Legislations, Proceedings and Votes, and more:

U.S. Code (click to visit)

The United States Code is prepared and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. This site offers the most current of the online versions with constant update, while previous years’ can be accessed via the GovInfo website.

America’s Founding Documents   (click to visit)

Documented by the U.S. National Archives, the well-known Charters of Freedom are available for access online by the public. The Documents include the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bills of Rights, which announced during the establishment of the country.

U.S. GovInfo (click to visit)

Provided as a service of the United States Government Publishing Office, a variety of materials are available via this website, including Bills and Statutes, Budget and Presidential Materials, Congressional Committee Materials and Rules and Procedures, and etc. Searches can be done by titles from A-Z, by classified categories, by publication date, related committees and authors. Depending on the materials, some documents can be dated back to 1820s.

U.S. Congress

Serves as the legislature of the U.S. federal government, it is composed of the U.S. Senate (upper chamber) and the U.S. House of Representatives (lower chamber). You may visit their corresponding websites for records of Bills and Legislations, Proceedings and Votes, and more:


In U.S., treaties are submitted to the Senate for discussion and approval. Details of the status of treaties can be retrieved via, from the 94th Congress (1975-1976) to the present, while full text of treaties from 1995 to present are available via Government Publishing Office. Below are also some useful links when conducting search on U.S. treaties:


HKU Libraries' Resources

Westlaw Classic (click to visit)

Westlaw Classic serves as a major database for conducting U.S. legal research. Here, you can find contents on the country’s proposed and enacted legislations, regulations, legislative history and etc., covering both federal and state level.

  • Access path 1 : All Content > select content you need
  • Access path 2 : All Content > Federal Content/ State Content > select content you need

Lexis Advance Hong Kong (click to visit)

Both federal and state materials are available via Lexis Advance Hong Kong, containing Bills, Codes, Congressional Records, Constitutional materials, Code Rules, Treaties and etc.

  • Access path: Browse> Publications> United States> By Content Type> US Statutes and Legislation

HeinOnline (click to visit)

HeinOnline covers wide range of databases related to the U.S. Law for you to explore. You search by category > federal/ state content, or select by title directly. Below are some selected contents accessible via the platform:

Federal level:

Code of Federal Regulations

Congress and the Court

Federal Register Library

United States Code

U.S. Congressional Documents

U.S. Congressional Serial Set

U.S. Federal Legislative History Library

U.S. Statutes at Large

State level:

State Attorney General Reports and Opinions

State Constitutions Illustrated

State Statutes: A Historical Archive

  • Access path: Landing Page> Browse Databases by Name

Open Access Resources

Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII)  (click to visit)

Supporting the free access of legal information, the LII, supported by the Cornell Law School, offers an extensive collection of materials. Here, you can find full text of U.S. Constitution and Code, Federal Law on different aspects of the country, state laws and statutes by topic and etc.

Federal Statutes: A Beginner’s Guide - Library of Congress (click to visit)

Provided by the U.S. Library of Congress, this research guide explains the statutory publication process for federal laws in the country. You are also encouraged to explore others guides created by the Library of Congress.

Justia (click to visit)

Free public access is available via Justia to both Federal and State Law, with U.S. Codes and Statues and Regulations. You may browse by jurisdictions (i.e. federal or a particular state) > content > year of publication.