Public Law Law and Legal Definition

Public laws are statutes affecting the general public. It could refer to the body of law dealing with the relations between private individuals and the government and with the structure and operation of the government itself. Public law could be Constitutional law, Criminal law and Administrative law taken together. Constitutional law is also referred to as Public law.

In the U.S, acts of Congress are designated as either public laws, relating to the general public, or private laws, relating to specific institutions or individuals. Since 1957, all acts of Congress have been designated as "Public Law X-Y" or "Private Law X-Y," where X is the number of the Congress and Y refers to the sequential order of the bill when it was enacted. For example, P. L. 111-5 (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) was the fifth enacted public law of the 111th United States Congress.