Primary Sources in Law

A primary source is a document or record containing firsthand information or original data on an event, object, person, or work of art. Primary sources are usually created by individuals who experienced the event and recorded or wrote about it. Because of this, primary sources usually reflect the viewpoint of the participant or observer. 

In law, common primary sources include:

  • Court cases
  • Court proceedings
  • Hearings
  • Audio or video recordings
  • Treaties
  • Constitutions
  • Legislation
  • Regulation
  • Court decisions (for example, those issued by judges)

Where to Find Primary Sources