Session laws are all the ratified bills and resolutions passed in a given session of the North Carolina General Assembly, and they are arranged in the order in which they became law. Session laws in North Carolina are published in the official title of Session Laws of North Carolina.
Session laws are an important tool for statutory research for several reasons. First, the session laws contain all laws passed in a given legislative session, including all public laws, private laws, local laws, and appropriations bills. The General Statutes of North Carolina contains only public laws.
In addition, if a statute has been amended or repealed, it will not appear in subsequent publications of the General Statutes. Legal researchers working with laws that have been repealed or amended need to rely on superseded statutory codes or the session laws to view the original text of the law.
Finally, session laws are useful for viewing the entire text of a law upon its ratification. The General Statutes are a topical arrangement of North Carolina's public laws, so sections of a single piece of legislation may be arranged into different topical areas within the statutory code. The session laws are the best place to view a ratified law in its original, complete form.
The Session Laws of North Carolina (KFN7425 .A22) are available in print on the Fourth Floor of the UNC Law Library. This print collection is the official publication of North Carolina sessions laws and includes session laws from 1830-present.
Older versions of North Carolina's session laws from 1784 through the early 1900s are available in the Rare Book Room. The Law Library also holds some historical years of session laws on microfiche (a machine-readable physical format). Please ask a librarian for assistance if you wish to view the copies in one of these collections.
Both the official Session Laws of North Carolina and historic versions of session laws are available in digitized form through subscription databases at UNC:
North Carolina session laws are also available online through various government sources