This is the "UK Law" page of the "United Kingdom Law" guide.
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Last Updated: Sep 15, 2014 URL: http://ox.libguides.com/law-uklaw Print Guide RSS Updates

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UK law index

This guide is mainly concerned with the sources for the jurisdiction of England and Wales, although some of the sources will apply equally to both Scotland and Northern Ireland. There is a separate guide for Scotland at http://ox.libguides.com/law-scots and a guide to Northern Ireland http://ox.libguides.com/law-ni.

To navigate this guide please use either the blue tabs above, or the links (arranged alphabetically) below.

Main UK legal databases

There are a number of major legal databases that cover UK law.  See below for a list of the main databases or see the Legal databases tab for more information and links to online tutorials.

  • Lexis Library  
      
    OU Members only. Published by Lexis Nexis (formally Butterworths). This is a large database which includes amended legislation, Halbury's Laws of England, The Law Reports (official series) as well as the All England Reports and a number of specialist series, journals including the New Law Journal, a number of textbooks online.
  • Westlaw UK  
      
    OU Members only. Published by Thomson Reuters. This is a large database which includes amended legislation, The Law Reports (official series) as well as a large number of subject specialist law report series, case summaries, citators and transcripts, the legal journals index, plus full text for some journals and a number of textbooks online including the common law series and the White Book (Civil Procedure Rules).
  • Justis UK  
      
    OU members only. Click on Continue to Justis This database includes case law (but no longer the ICLR's The Law Reports series) and legislation (unamended).
  • HeinOnline  
      
    OU members only. Heinonline has a great collection of UK journals. However their licence does not allow them to include any articles from the last year on the database. If you are looking for more recent articles you can check ejournals via Oxlip+.
  • British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)
    Free resource. Includes judgments of UK cases and legislation (unamended). There is an advanced search screen as well the option to browse by year or by title.
  • Legislation.gov
    Free resource. This site replaces the Statute Law Database and part of the Office of Public Sector Information. It has amended legislation BUT NOTE these are often not uptodate. OU students requiring the current, amended form of an act should go to either Lexis or Westlaw via links above.
 

UK Legal Research books

Below are books on legal research.  For books and resources on the English and Wales legal system see the Legal System tab.

Cover Art
Legal research : a practitioner's handbook - Peter Clinch
Call Number: Ref Bibl Cw UK C641c2
ISBN: 9780854901234

Cover Art
Butterworths legal research guide - Guy Holborn
Call Number: Ref Bibl Cw UK H723a2
ISBN: 0406930236
(2001)

Cover Art
Using a law library : a student's guide to legal research skills - Peter Clinch
Call Number: Ref Bibl Cw UK C641a2
ISBN: 1841740292
(2001)

Cover Art
Legal Skills - Emily Finch; Stefan Fafinski
Call Number: KL130.35.FIN 2013 (RESERVE)
ISBN: 9780199664498
Publication Date: 2013-07-18

 

Quick start

The UK hard copy collection in the Bodleian Law Library is situated on the main floor of the library.  Legislation starts at Cw UK 10,  law reports at Cw UK 100, and journals at Cw UK 300. UK legal monographs are catalogued using different classmarks which allows for easier browsing, this section starts at K through to KN after the main run of journals.

There is a multi-volume encyclopaedia which covers the law of England and Wales called Halsbury's Laws of England which is a great place to start your research and this can be found at K1 or it is available online on Lexis®Library.  Alternatively you can search SOLO for other resources.

There is no one database that contains all UK legal material but the 2 main databases are Westlaw UK and Lexis®Library. OU members can access both using their Oxford Single Sign On details.  For information on these, and for a list of other useful electronic resources (including free resources) then see the database section in the left hand column or look at the specific tab above for specific types of material.

 

What is the UK?

The United Kingdom was established by the union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801 and defined in 1922 with the division of Ireland into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  The UK consists of 3 legal jurisdictions made up of 4 countries: (a) England and Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) Northern Ireland each having there own court system and legal profession. Since 1997 legislative decision making for some areas of government has been devolved to the separate jurisdictions, however there are still certain areas which are governed centrally through the main UK Parliament.

This guide is mainly concerned with the sources for the jurisdiction of England and Wales, although some of the sources will apply equally to both Scotland and Northern Ireland.  There is a separate guide for Scotland at http://ox.libguides.com/law-scots and a guide to Northern Ireland in the pipeline.

The UK is also a member of the European Union (since 1973) as well as being a signatory of the European Convention of Human Rights (reflected by the passing of the Human Rights Act 1998).

Online portals for UK law

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