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Public Record
Public records are documents or pieces of information that are not considered confidential and generally pertain to the conduct of government. For example, in California, when a couple fills out a marriage license application, they have the option of checking the box as to whether the marriage is "confidential" (Record will be closed, and not opened to public once recorded) or "public" (record will become public record once recorded). Essentially, if the marriage record is public, a copy of the record can be ordered from the county in which the marriage occurred. Other examples of public records includes information pertaining to births, deaths, and documented transaction with government agencies. History Since the earliest organised societies, with taxation, disputes, and so on, records of some sort have been needed. In ancient Babylon records were kept in cuneiform writing on clay tablets. In the Inca empire of South America, which did not have writing, records were kept v ...
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California Public Records Act
The California Public Records Act (Statutes of 1968, Chapter 1473; currently codified as Chapter 3.5 of Division 7 of Title 1 of the California Government Code) was a law passed by the California State Legislature and signed by then-governor Ronald Reagan in 1968 requiring inspection or disclosure of governmental records to the public upon request, unless exempted by law. The law is similar to the Freedom of Information Act, except that "the people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business" is enshrined in Article 1 of the California Constitution due to California Proposition 59 (the Sunshine Amendment, 2004). Purpose When the legislature enacted CPRA, it expressly declared that "access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state." Indeed, in California "access to government records has been deemed a fundamental interest of citizenship" and h ...
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Confidential
Confidentiality involves a set of rules or a promise usually executed through confidentiality agreements that limits the access or places restrictions on certain types of information. Legal confidentiality By law, lawyers are often required to keep confidential anything pertaining to the representation of a client. The duty of confidentiality is much broader than the attorney–client evidentiary privilege, which only covers ''communications'' between the attorney and the client. Both the privilege and the duty serve the purpose of encouraging clients to speak frankly about their cases. This way, lawyers can carry out their duty to provide clients with zealous representation. Otherwise, the opposing side may be able to surprise the lawyer in court with something he did not know about his client, which may weaken the client's position. Also, a distrustful client might hide a relevant fact he thinks is incriminating, but that a skilled lawyer could turn to the client's advanta ...
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International Treaty
A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually made by and between sovereign states, but can include international organizations, individuals, business entities, and other legal persons. A treaty may also be known as an international agreement, protocol, covenant, convention, pact, or exchange of letters, among other terms. However, only documents that are legally binding on the parties are considered treaties under international law. Treaties vary on the basis of obligations (the extent to which states are bound to the rules), precision (the extent to which the rules are unambiguous), and delegation (the extent to which third parties have authority to interpret, apply and make rules). Treaties are among the earliest manifestations of international relations, with the first known example being a border agreement between the Sumerian city-states of Lagash and Umma around 3100 BC. International agreements were used in s ...
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Freedom Of Information Act (United States)
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), , is the U.S. federal freedom of information law that requires the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased or uncirculated information and documents controlled by the United States government, state, or other public authority upon request. The act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures, and includes nine exemptions that define categories of information not subject to disclosure. The act was intended to make U.S. government agencies' functions more transparent so that the American public could more easily identify problems in government functioning and put pressure on Congress, agency officials, and the president to address them. The FOIA has been changed repeatedly by both the legislative and executive branches. Apart from the U.S. federal government's Freedom of Information Act, the U.S. states have their own varying freedom of information laws. The Freedom of Information Act is ...
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Common Law
In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omnipresence in the sky, but the articulate voice of some sovereign or quasi sovereign that can be identified," ''Southern Pacific Company v. Jensen'', 244 U.S. 205, 222 (1917) (Oliver Wendell Holmes, dissenting). By the early 20th century, legal professionals had come to reject any idea of a higher or natural law, or a law above the law. The law arises through the act of a sovereign, whether that sovereign speaks through a legislature, executive, or judicial officer. The defining characteristic of common law is that it arises as precedent. Common law courts look to the past decisions of courts to synthesize the legal principles of past cases. ''Stare decisis'', the principle that cases should be decided according to consistent principled rules s ...
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William J
William is a male given name of Germanic languages, Germanic origin.Hanks, Hardcastle and Hodges, ''Oxford Dictionary of First Names'', Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, , p. 276. It became very popular in the English language after the Norman conquest of England in 1066,All Things William"Meaning & Origin of the Name"/ref> and remained so throughout the Middle Ages and into the modern era. It is sometimes abbreviated "Wm." Shortened familiar versions in English include Will (given name), Will, Wills (given name), Wills, Willy, Willie, Bill (given name), Bill, and Billy (name), Billy. A common Irish people, Irish form is Liam. Scottish people, Scottish diminutives include Wull, Willie or Wullie (as in Oor Wullie or the play Douglas (play)#Theme and response, ''Douglas''). Female forms are Willa, Willemina, Wilma (given name), Wilma and Wilhelmina (given name), Wilhelmina. Etymology William is related to the given name ''Wilhelm'' (cf. Proto-Germanic ᚹᛁᛚᛃᚨᚺᛖᛚ� ...
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State Legislature (United States)
A state legislature in the United States is the legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 27 states, the legislature is simply called the ''Legislature'' or the ''State Legislature'', while in 19 states the legislature is called the ''General Assembly''. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislature is called the ''General Court'', while North Dakota and Oregon designate the legislature the ''Legislative Assembly''. Composition Every state except Nebraska has a bicameral legislature, meaning that the legislature consists of two separate legislative chambers or houses. In each case the smaller chamber is called the Senate and is usually referred to as the upper house. This chamber typically, but not always, has the exclusive power to confirm appointments made by the governor and to try articles of impeachment. (In a few states, a separate Executive Council, composed of members elected from large districts, perform ...
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James Madison
James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, and Founding Father. He served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. Madison is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. Madison was born into a prominent slave-owning planter family in Virginia. He served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and the Continental Congress during and after the American Revolutionary War. Unsatisfied with the weak national government established by the Articles of Confederation, he helped organize the Constitutional Convention, which produced a new constitution. Madison's Virginia Plan was the basis for the Convention's deliberations, and he was an influential voice at the convention. He became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify the Constitution, and joined Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in writi ...
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Minutes
Minutes, also known as minutes of meeting (abbreviation MoM), protocols or, informally, notes, are the instant written record of a meeting or hearing. They typically describe the events of the meeting and may include a list of attendees, a statement of the activities considered by the participants, and related responses or decisions for the activities. Etymology The name "minutes" possibly derives from the Latin phrase ''minuta scriptura'' (literally "small writing") meaning "rough notes". Creation Minutes may be created during the meeting by a typist or court reporter, who may use shorthand notation and then prepare the minutes and issue them to the participants afterwards. Alternatively, the meeting can be audio recorded, video recorded, or a group's appointed or informally assigned secretary may take notes, with minutes prepared later. Many government agencies use minutes recording software to record and prepare all minutes in real-time. Purpose Minutes are the offici ...
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Thirty-year Rule
The "thirty-year rule" is the informal name given to laws in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the Commonwealth of Australia that provide that certain government documents will be released publicly thirty years after they were created. Some other countries' national archives also adhere to a thirty-year rule for the release of government documents. United Kingdom In the United Kingdom, the Public Records Act 1958 stated that: The closure period was reduced from fifty to thirty years by an amending act of 1967, passed during Harold Wilson's government. Among those who had repeatedly urged the scrapping of the fifty-year rule was the historian A. J. P. Taylor. There were two elements to the rule: the first required that records be transferred from government departments to the Public Record Office (now The National Archives) after thirty years unless specific exemptions were given (by the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Council on Public Records); the second that ...
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Cabinet Of The United Kingdom
The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the senior decision-making body of His Majesty's Government. A committee of the Privy Council, it is chaired by the prime minister and its members include secretaries of state and other senior ministers. The Ministerial Code says that the business of the Cabinet (and cabinet committees) is mainly questions of major issues of policy, questions of critical importance to the public and questions on which there is an unresolved argument between departments. History Until at least the 16th century, individual officers of state had separate property, powers and responsibilities granted with their separate offices by royal command, and the Crown and the Privy Council constituted the only co-ordinating authorities. In England, phrases such as "cabinet counsel", meaning advice given in private, in a cabinet in the sense of a small room, to the monarch, occur from the late 16th century, and, given the non-standardised spelling of the day, it is ...
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Freedom Of Information Legislation
Freedom of information laws allow access by the general public to data held by national governments and, where applicable, by state and local governments. The emergence of freedom of information legislation was a response to increasing dissatisfaction with the secrecy surrounding government policy development and decision making. In recent years Access to Information Act has also been used. They establish a "right-to-know" legal process by which requests may be made for government-held information, to be received freely or at minimal cost, barring standard exceptions. Also variously referred to as open records, or sunshine laws (in the United States), governments are typically bound by a duty to publish and promote openness. In many countries there are constitutional guarantees for the right of access to information, but these are usually unused if specific support legislation does not exist. Additionally, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 has a target to ensure ...
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