Legal Dictionary

public journal

Legal Definition of public journal


Related terms

Definition of public journal

Further reading

A public journal (official gazette, official journal, or official diary) is a day-by-day record of the business and proceedings of a public body.

Journals of this sort are also often referred to as minutes or gazettes (see gazette).

In some countries, the publication in the official journal is a condition for the law to come into effect (known as publication in the official journal). A public journal is not necessarily released into the public domain.

The journals of the British Houses of Parliament contain an official record of the business transacted day by day in either house. The record does not take note of speeches, though some of the earlier volumes contain references to them. The journals are a lengthened account written from the "Votes and Proceedings" (in the House of Lords called "Minutes of Proceedings"), made day by day by the Clerks at the Table, and printed on the responsibility of the Clerk of the House. In the Commons the Votes and Proceedings, but not the Journal, bear the Speaker's signature in fulfilment of a former order that he should "peruse" them before publication. The journals of the British House of Commons begin in the first year of the reign of Edward VI in 1547, and are complete, except for a short interval under Elizabeth I. Those of the House of Lords date from the first year of Henry VIII in 1509. Before that date the proceedings in parliament were entered in the rolls of parliament, which extend from 1278 to 1503. The journals of the Lords are "records" in the judicial sense, those of the Commons are not (see Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, 1906, pages 201-202).

Public journal by country

  • Albania: Albanian Official Journal
  • Belgium: Belgian Official Journal
  • Canada: Canada Gazette
  • Estonia: Riigi Teataja
  • European Union: Official Journal of the European Union
  • European Union: Official Journal of the European Patent Office
  • France: Journal Officiel de la République Française
  • Greece: Journal of Government
  • India: The Gazette of India
  • Iraq: Official Gazette of Iraq
  • Ireland: Iris Oifigiúil
  • Israel: Reshumot
  • Italy: Gazzetta Ufficiale
  • Mexico: Diario Oficial de la Federación
  • Portugal: Diário da República
  • Romania: Monitorul Oficial
  • South Africa: Government Gazette of South Africa
  • Spain: Boletín Oficial del Estado
  • Sweden: Post- och Inrikes Tidningar
  • Thailand: Royal Thai Government Gazette
  • Turkey: TC Resmi Gazete
  • United Kingdom: London Gazette, Edinburgh Gazette and Belfast Gazette
  • United States: Federal Register


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


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9.     lex domicilii
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