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Authority is a ubiquitous term, used commonly to refer to those who can command obedience and have decision-making power, either as individuals or as officials acting on behalf of agencies. In the West, the sources of law and authority of the state originate in the growth of parliament through statutory law and judicial shaping of common law, in the form of cases, statutes, regulations, or decisions of administrative bodies. Regulations, in the form of rules or orders issued by an agency of government, have the force of law and are authorized by statute. Mandatory authority is binding: It must be followed. Persuasive authority may be used to convince a court to apply the law in a particular direction; for example, decisions of higher courts are ...

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