U.K. Legal Research

An introduction to print and electronic sources for researching law in the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Electronic

Lexis and Westlaw 

From the lexis.com directory, select Find Laws by Country or Region > Foreign Laws & Legal Sources > United Kingdom. Lexis provides UK cases and legislation, several legal journals and a UK Law Journal Index, and some practice materials.

From the Westlaw homepage, select International Materials  on the All Content tab, then select United Kingdom under Jurisdictions.  Westlaw contains UK cases and legislation, several treatises, legal journals and the Legal Journals Index, news sources, and some topical materials.
 

Hein Online
The English Reports (1220 - 1865) are available on Hein Online.

Links to LEXIS, Westlaw, and Hein Online are available from the Mabie Law Library home page. Click on Indexes to Law Review Articles and/or Legal Databases. Ask at Research Services about restrictions on access.
 

Foreign Law Guide (Reynolds and Flores)
The online Foreign Law Guide and its print predecessor Foreign Law: current sources of codes and basic legislation in jruisdictions of the world include background information about the U.K., Northern Ireland and Scotland. The Foreign Law Guide links to reliable online sources when available.

 
UK Government Websites

  • U.K. Parliament
    Bill tracking
    Archived judgments, 1996-2009
    Hansards
    Select committee publications
  • Gov.uk
    Go to the Publications/Official Documents page
    or search for Command Papers


British and Irish Legal Information Institute
Links to federal and provincial statutes, regulations, and court decisions.

Legislation

The public general acts and General Synod Measures (1972 --)
Public general acts and Church Assembly Measures of ... (1950 - 1971)
Law Compact Shelving KD125

Statutes Revised (3rd ed., 1950)
Law Compact Shelving KD132 1950
Covers 1235 - 1948.

Halsbury's Statutes of England and Wales
Law Compact Shelving KD135 .H3 G74 1985
Unofficial. Amended text of statutes in force in England and Wales. Current updates.

Previous editions of Halsbury's Statutes:
Law Remote Storage  KD135 .H3 G74 1968 (1968 - 1985)
Law Remote Storage  KD135 .H3 G74 1948 (1948 - 1969)

Noter-up Service
Law Compact Shelving KD135 .H3 G74 1985 Noter
Statute citatory with current update; shelved with most recent Halsbury's Statutes (1985)

Is it in Force? (annual, 1985 - )
Law Compact Shelving KD142.4 I8
Interim updating

Chronological Table of the Statutes, 1235-2005
Law Compact Shelving KD 142.3 C46
Tracks enactments, repeals, amendments

legislation.gov.uk

  • U.K. Acts and Statutory Instruments
    Legislation from 1267 --
    Statutory Instruments
  • Acts of the Scottish Parliament, 1999 --
    Scottish Statutory Instruments
  • Acts of the Welsh Assembly, 1999 --
    Welsh Statutory Instruments
  • Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly
    Statutory Rules

Regulations

Regulations (Statutory Instruments) are not available in print in the Mabie Library. However, they are available on:

  • lexis.com (ENGGEN;SI (England and Wales), ENGGEN;SCOSI (Scotland), ENGGEN;STATIS (Statutes and Statutory Instruments, England and Wales), ENGGEN;SCOLEG (Statutes and Statutory Instruments, Scotland)
     
  • Westlaw
    (Home > International Materials > United Kingdom > Legislation
  • legislation.gov.uk
    • UK Statutory Instruments
    • Wales Statutory Instruments
    • Scottish Statutory Instruments
    • Northern Ireland Statutory Rules

Parliamentary Documents

Command Papers (1833 - 1984, selected) are available in print
Law Remote Storage KD86 .H2
The Command Papers include British treaties and international agreements.

Command Papers from 2005 forward are available on the (U.K.) Official Documents website, which also includes House of Commons Papers and selected other governmental documents.

Current Parliamentary materials are available on the website of the U.K. Parlliament, including pending bills and Acts of Parliament as originally passed from 1988 forward.

For historical materials

For additional information about historical English legal materials, see the section of this guide on Historical Sources.

Heafey Law Library Research Team