Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
GW Law Library
Research Guides

District of Columbia (D.C.) Law

A guide to researching D.C. Law

Note: Historical Research

This page discusses current sources.
Historical D.C. Codes and session laws are discussed in the "Historical Research" section of this guide.

Codified (current) Laws

Lexis Code Compare Tool

Use Lexis "Compare Versions" tool to compare editions of the D.C. Code.  Text added in a newer version of the D.C. Code. and text removed from an earlier version are highlighted. 

Session Laws

Example:   L15-124,  Distracted Driving Safety Act of 2004

L = Law
15 = D.C. Council Period
124 = Sequential number assigned to law
Distracted Driving Safety Act of 2004 = Title of law

Finding Aids

Helpful tables found in this volume include:

Congressional Resolutions of Disapproval

In 1984, Congress amended the Home Rule Act requiring that disapproval of Council laws is to be done through a joint resolution of Congress which would be signed by the President. 

D.C. Appropriations Laws

The U.S. Congress enacts D.C.'s annual appropriations laws.

Because appropriations laws are not permanent law, they are not codified and do not appear in the D.C. Code.

Uniform & Model Laws

Some D.C. Laws are based on uniform or model acts.  Commentary and annotations to court decisions found in "Uniform Laws Annotated" may be useful in construing a uniform act adopted by D.C. which may have little legislative history or judicial treatment.

Related Guides