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Administrative Law: Federal Regulations

An exciting guide on administrative law, giving a background on general resources in the field.


The federal administrative process generates a regular stream of information, most notably, during the promulgation of regulations through notice and comment in the Federal Register, and topical publication in the Code of Federal Regulations.  In addition, agencies generate individual sources of information on the subjects under their jurisdiction as well as issuing quasi judicial determinations of their administrative tribunals.  Of course, the President, as Chief Executive, also issues pronouncements to direct agency activities in their respective missions.  Some of the most important sources of federal administrative law are listed below.

Federal Agency Inforrmation

Code of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is the topical organization of federal regulations as they exist now (or since they were last updated by the publisher). Note that the official titles 1-16 are revised as of January 1; titles 17-27 are revised as of April 1; titles 28-41 are revised as of July 1; and titles 42-50 are revised as of October 1 of each year.  (Often, the official volumes are published late.)  While, Lexis, Westlaw and e-CFR update regulations more quickly, the official status of a regulation requires reviewing the Federal Register (see below), to find out whether or not any changes were made since the regulation's last publication in the C.F.R.

Federal Register

Official federal daily publication containing proposed regulations, final regulations, federal agency notices and Presidential documents such as executive orders.

Administrative Decisions and Adjudications

Presidential Documents

Advisory & Other Materials

FOIA Resources

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows citizens to request certain documents from federal agencies.  Many agency web sites have virtual FOIA 'reading rooms', that offer access to documents requested under FOIA.  The sources below are of more general applicability.

Federal Register Notices

A sampling of recent notices published in the Federal Register

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