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Constitutions, constitutional & administrative law: Books

Finding books and ebooks on constitutional law

Use the tabs above to understand how the Law Bod's collection is arranged. There is an Enquiry Desk on Level 2, just as you enter the main Reading Room: please do come and have a word if you are having any difficulty in using the library..

Help with finding books

The Law Library's collection is fully catalogued on SOLO, Oxford  University's online resource discovery tool.

Suggested subject searches include:

constitutional law
constitutional law - economic aspects
constitutional law - social aspects
constitutional history

public law
separation of powers
rule of law
civil rights 

Legitimacy of governments
social justice
social contract
theory of justice

Law -- Political aspects
Public law -- Political aspects

Government accountability

To these you could add the name of a jurisdiction (eg France) to reflect your particular interest.                       

To find series (such as Constitutional systems of the world) set the search filters to exact phrase + anywhere in the record.
There is a separate section in this guide for administrative law.

You don't need to do anything special to find e-books - SOLO should find them along with printed copies. E-books have a View Online link to click; print items have Find & Request link to click to find the Call number/Shelf Mark.

For those wishing to learn more about using searches, we recommend the following:

If you are studying English constitutional law, most of your reading will be shelved on Level 2, the entrance level to the Law Bod.
On this floor are services to help you find the current state of relevant legislation, the law report series (to find published judgments) and law journals as well as the current book collection.

Looking for a Reading List title?

When you search SOLO for books on your Reading List you may find that the location is shown as Law Library Reserve Collection. These titles are available to all categories of readers, but are shelved in a discrete area on Level 2. Please ask a librarian for directions when you are next in the Law Library.

The majority of  current works dealing with English consitutional and administrative law are on open shelves in another part of the Level 2 collection Note that superseded, earlier editions are also available to readers in the secondary collection ("sec coll") on the Ground Floor. Some of the oldest editions may still have the old Bodliean shelf mark starting Cw UK - you will find these too on the Ground Floor.

Increasingly, new books are being purchased as ebooks only. These normally require an Oxford SSO for remote access (if you are not on the University network, Bodleian Libraries Wifi, nor using a VPN on your laptop). If you sign into SOLO with your Oxford SSO before launching any searches this should cut down the number of times you are asked for it.

Looking for a Reading List title? Law Reserve Collection. 
This is a collection of high demand books, the most heavily used books on Law Faculty reading lists when not available online. Items display the status ‘Res Books’ on SOLO and have 'Reserve Collection’ shelfmarks. 

Please ask for Reserve Collection books at the Law Enquiry Desk on Level 2, the entrance level. Remember to bring your University or Bodleian Reader's card with you, as these titles are issued to you for use in the Library. You can keep reading them for the rest of day if you like - but we do ask that you return them to the Enquiry Desk as soon as possible after you have finished consulting them. 
Note: The Reserve Collection books are not restricted to those readers on the particular courses.


The arrangement of constitutional law books for England is arranged by subject matter as follows. This collection is on Level 2, the entrance level to the Law Library.

KM1 Public law (general works, which may includes chapters on constitutional, administrative, criminal, and tax law) 
KM31     Constitutional Law - general overviews 
KM33    Constitutional Principles
KM35    Separation of Powers
KM36    Judicial Review (general and constitutional) for Judicial Review of Administrative action see KM306
KM38    Constitutional Conventions
KM42    Parliamentary Government
KM51    Unwritten Constitutions
KM53    Amendments
KM58     Church & State For Freedom of religion/conscience see KM206
KM82    Legislatures, legislative power
KM83    Legislators
KM84    Parliamentary Procedure
KM85    Parliamentary Privileges
KM111    Executive Power
KM112    Heads of State
KM114    Executive Prerogatives
KM141    Judiciary - constitutional status and powers
KM176    Migration
KM201    Civil rights, human rights
KM203    Habeas Corpus
KM204    Freedom of Speech & Expression
KM205    Freedom of Assembly
KM206    Freedom of religion/conscience
KM207    Freedom of the Press
KM208   Equal opportunities, discrimination, minorities
This is further by discrimination of either person or place eg 
KM208.2    Sex discrimination
KM208.43    Racial Discrimination
KM208.431    Indigenous Peoples
KM208.432    Treaty Rights
KM209.A2    Academic Freedom
KM209.C6    Right to Counsel
KM209.I6    Freedom of Information
KM209.P7    Right of privacy
KM233    National Security
KM235    Government Departments
KM238    Committees of Enquiry, Royal Commissions

Books on English & Welsh/UK law are shelved first within each category.
Then works on the treatment of the law by other common law jurisdictions follow, country by country. The third line of the shelf mark indicates which foreign jurisdiction the book is about, using the following codes - A8 Australia, C1 Canada, I5 Ireland , N4 New Zealand, S3 Scotland, U4 United States, W1 Wales

If you are looking for works on the administrative law in other jurisdictions these will be shelved in the respective country collections: European countries are on Level 3, remaining jurisdictions on Level 1.

The European Union collection is on Level 3.

Purely theoretical works will probably have shelf marks beginning Jurisp (short for Jurisprudence or legal philosophy).
Comparative studies will have shelf marks beginning either General or Cw Gen. 
All three collections are on Floor 2. All are arranged alphabetically by author/editor and are not arranged according to topic.

Looking for a Reading List title?

SOLO results may say it is in the Law Reserve Collection. This is a separate collection of the most heavily used books on Oxford RLs. If you would like to read one of these books, please ask for the title(s) at the Law Enquiry Desk on Level 2  - and remember to bring your University or Bodleian Reader's card with you, as these heavily used titles are issued to you for use in the Library. You can keep reading them for the rest of day if you like - but we do ask that you return them to the Enquiry Desk as soon as possible after you have finished consulting them. 

Subject searches to use in SOLO include:

Constitutional law - theory
Constitutionalism and democracy
Law - political aspects

Purely theoretical works in the general, open shelf collection will probably have shelf marks beginning Jurisp (short for Jurisprudence or legal philosophy). These books are shelved, alphabetically by author/editor in another section on Level 2, the entrance level to the Library.

As the Law Library moves to the Moys Classification Scheme, you may find legal philosophy books with shelf marks begiinning KA . This collection is also on Level 2 - but a few shelves away from Jurisp.

The Enquiry Desk is also on Level 2 - please come and ask if you are having any difficulties finding the books you need.

On Level 2, the level at which you enter the Law Library, an area of the open shelf collection has books with shelf marks beginning General. 
This is where you will find comparative studies, and works surveying the response to legal problems in two or more jurisdictions. 

If all the countries being compared are (or were) members of the Commonwealth (the voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific) the book should have a shelf mark beginning Cw Gen. This collection is also on Level 2, but separate from General.

Please ask at the Enquiry Desk on Level 2 if you are having difficulty finding your way round our collection.

Useful websites

Recommend a book

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the print or ebook you are looking for, you can make a recommendation by completing the form below (Oxford Single-Sign On required).

Inter-library loans

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the book you are looking for, we may be able to source it through Oxford's inter-library loan service.

Why are some books not available electronically?

There are a number of reasons why the Bodleian Libraries may be unable to provide electronic access to a resource. The ebooks guide explains some of these reasons: