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Criminal law: Legislation & cases

English legislation

The best way to find the current (amended) text of English acts/statutes is to go to a subscription database: holders of an Oxford Single Sign On should consult either Westlaw UK or LexisLibrary. These will not just supply the text of the legislation, but supply links to related commentary - a first step on the next stage of research.

The UK government has a freely accessible website for legislation - but it may be slower to incorporate recent developments (eg amendments, repeals of sections). The status of each act is clearly indicated on the site. Legislation.gov.uk is a good source of explanatory notes for recent legislation, and for the text of modern acts as originally promulgated.

Printed resources

Halsbury's Statutes (also available online via LexisLibrary)

Classmark: KZ 2 on Level 2.

Multi - volume work arranged by broad subject area.  Has statutes as amended and annotated with a looseleaf updating service.

Student-friendly, potential time saver is the most recent edition of Blackstone's statutes on criminal law  at KM500 BLA Although this is usually updated annually, it can nevertheless slip behind the current state of legislation.

Current Law Statutes annotated

Classmark: KZ 5 on Level 2
From 1947 onwards.  Arranged by year.  Contains statutes as originally enacted with annotations.

 

 

 

Foreign Legislation

The Law Bod has a number of Libguides to foreign jurisdictions each of which will have sections on where to find the nation's legislation.

Note That unless English is one of the country's official languages, an English version will be a translation, and in all probability not considered authoritative.

Finding reports & transcripts of English criminal cases

The principal printed reports which include English criminal cases are listed below. The first column shows the usual abbreviation used in citations to each report series

AC  Appeal Cases
All ER All England Reports
Cox CC Cox's Criminal Cases
Cr App R Criminal Appeal Reports
Cr App R (S) Criminal Appeal Reports
(Sentencing)
ER English Reports
KB King's Bench
QB Queen's Bench
QBD Queen's Bench Division
TLR Times Law Reports
WLR Weekly Law Reports

Neutral citations

These citations can be used in subcription databases to find, at least, the transcript of the judgment. If the case was subsequently reported, then the database will alert you to this fact.

UKHL United Kingdom House of Lords
UKSC United Kingdom Supreme Court
EWCA Crim

England & Wales Court of Appeal
Criminal Division

EWHC
## (QB)

England & Wales High Court
Queen's Bench Division

Puzzled by Crim LR citation?

Crim LR is the abbreivation for the Criminal Law Review - in other words, a specialist law journal (which happens to publish useful case notes) not a law report series.

As it is a journal, it is shelved among the journals.

OU members have online access to this journal - but only from 1986 onwards -  via Westlaw UK (see link below)

Foreign court decisions