Uniform Laws and Model Acts

A research guide on Uniform Laws and model acts that describes these resources and where they may be found in the Heafey Law Library.

Introduction

Uniform laws and model acts are types of proposed statutes. Unlike the Restatements of the Law, which state what the law now is for a given subject, statutory proposals state what their drafters think the law should be. Many groups offer proposed laws in different areas, but two broad types of statutory proposals are especially noteworthy.

 

Uniform laws are proposed laws offered by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). NCCUSL's express aim is for all states to adopt the same law, without modification, in a given area. NCCUSL's greatest success has been with the Uniform Commercial Code, which has been adopted by all 50 states, but the group has proposed 200 uniform laws since its founding.

 

Model acts are proposed laws that are offered by groups other than NCCUSL. The groups writing them would often like them to be adopted by all 50 states, but there is not the same effort at advocacy as seen with NCCUSL's uniform laws. One of the best known model acts is the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code, which greatly influenced the revision of criminal laws in many states although no state adopted it in its entirety. The American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Model Code of Judicial Conduct have been adopted with variations by many states. Although not proposed as model acts, many states have also adopted with modifications both the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence.

 

Please feel free to ask a Research Services librarian for assistance in finding uniform laws or model acts in topics that you are interested in.

 

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