U.K. Legal Research

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


The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom began hearing cases in October 2009.

Law Reports: Appeal Cases (1875 - )
Law Compact Shelving KD275.4
House of Lords, Privy Council, cases referred to the European Court of Justice.

Law Reports: Chancery Division (1875 - )
Law Compact Shelving  KD276.3

Law Reports: Queen's [King's] Bench Division (1891 - )
Law Compact Shelving KD277.7

Law Reports: Family Division (1972 - )
Law Compact Shelving KD279.4

All England Law Reports (1936 - )
Law Compact Shelving KD288 A64

Weekly Law Reports (1953 - )
Law Compact Shelving KD282 [year]

The English Reports (1220 - 1865)
Law Compact Shelving KD270 1220 E5
Law Microforms KD270 1220 E5
Also available on Hein Online


Topical Reports
Industrial Relations Law Reports (1972 - 2009)
Law Compact Shelving KD3005 A2 I5

Lloyd's Law Reports (Maritime and Commercial, 1968 --)
Law Compact Shelving KD1815 A2 L


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 in addition to legislation, legal journals, and practice materials.

From the Westlaw homepage, select International Materials on the All Content tab, then select United Kingdom under Jurisdictions.  Westlaw contains UK cases in addition to legislation, legal journals and topical materials.

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

LLMC Digital (Select Legal Databases from the Mabie Law Library homepage, then scroll down to LLMC Digital)
From the LLMC Digital Home page, Browse Collections and select United Kingdom, Judicial

Links to LEXIS, Westlaw, Hein Online and LLMC Digital are available at the Mabie Law Library home page. Click on 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.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Established October 2009, replacing the Appellate Committe of the House of Lords as the highest court in the United Kingdom. The then current Law Lords became the Court's first twelve justices.

House of Lords judgments, 1996 - 2009

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


The history of a case, subsequent decisions in a case, and references to a case, can be found using the Digest (see below for additional information) and by searching electronic databases.


The Digest: Annotated British, Commonwealth and European Cases (1981 - )
Law Compact Shelving KD296 .D53

Consolidated Index to Leading Law Reports (1991 - 2000, 2001 - 2005, 2006 - 2008)
Law Reports Index (1951 - 1960, 1961 - 1970, 1971 - 1980, 1981 - 1990)
Compact Shelving KD285

Law Reports Digest (1901 - 1905; 1931 - 1950)
Compact Shelving KD284 .L38 1906, 1952

For historical materials

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

Heafey Law Library Research Team