URN:lex illustrative examples

Here are some "worked examples" of URN:lex identifiers, to act as a guide for those implementing URN:lex on their sites. Discussion of URN:lex is taking place here.

United States

Federal law


United States Code (per the Legal Information Institute):

For now, we are implementing US Code URNs inside <meta> tags, along the lines of the following example:

<meta name="dc.identifier" scheme="urn" content="urn:lex:us:federal:codified.statute:2010;12.usc.345@official;house.gov:en$text-html:legal.information.institute">

This is the identifier for 12 USC 345, as provided in the official version by the US House of Representatives Office of the Law Revision Counsel and published by us.  Design decisions worth noting are the implementation of "federal" as a distinct category (as  opposed to a geographic subdivision), the use of "codified" to avoid confusion with the civil-law notion of a "code", and the use of the publisher field to designate a document creator independent of the official body creating the work.    The use of 2010 as the date took a little more thinking, but it was decided that the most significant date for any such collection is "the date of issuance of the compilation of which the referenced work is a part" (in John Joergensen's happy phrase), consistent with Bluebook practice.  URNs will be generated only for Titles and sections, as these are the only citable levels.  This raises an interesting question of how to identify documents that are, essentially, metadata attached to supersection levels below the Title level.  We have not yet addressed this (so to speak).


Below are some further examples:

U.S. Public Law:



      1. The term "session law" is the preferred term under the Library of Congress Subject Headings for a statute in this form.

      2. U.S. Public laws have a Public Law citation and a Statutes at Large volume and page citation. Both are included here.


U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Section:



Federal Register Entry:



U.S. Supreme Court Decision:



U.S. Court of Appeals Decision:

urn:lex:us:federal:court.appeals;fifth.circuit:decision:2000-05-11;98-30729,211 F.3d 289 @official;federal.reporter:en


State Code Sample:



State Session Law:



State Supreme Court Decision:



State Court (lower court):



Municipal Ordinance: