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English Legal Sources Available through BLS Library: Cases

British and Irish Legal Information Institute (Free)

BAILII primarily provides recent British, Irish and European cases.

Tip: Includes Case Lists (A-Z case name indexes) and Case Law Search template.

Key Case Reports: The Law Reports and Weekly Law Reports

Reporters published by The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales:

The Law Reports (1865-) and Weekly Law Reports (1953-) are available in ICLR Online subscription database. 

The Law Reports

  • "Are the official series of Reports cited in the High Court and Court of Appeal."  Learn more
  • Include significant decisions of: the current Supreme Court of the UK (and former House of Lords); the Court of Appeal; and the High Court.
  • Include arguments of counsel.                                                            

Current series of The Law Reports:                                                                            

  • The Law Reports. Appeal Cases  Abbr. as A.C. 
  • The Law Reports. Chancery Division  Abbr. as Ch.
  • The Law Reports. Family Division  Abbr. as Fam.
  • The Law Reports. Queen’s Bench Division  Abbr. as Q.B.                           

There are also many privately published reports, such as the general All England Law Reports (1936-) and the subject-specific Criminal Appeal Reports.  See box: Databases that Include Cases from Other Sources.

Databases that Include Cases from Other Sources (Subscription)

Westlaw: United Kingdom Cases

Path: LexisNexis for Law School > tab: Go to Lexis Advance > Explore Content: International > United Kingdom > United Kingdom Case Law > UK Cases, Combined

Includes unreported cases (1980-).

Bloomberg Law > Search > Global Law > Europe > United Kingdom > Courts > Judgments, Transcripts and Decisions 

Nominate Reports (end in 1873)

English Reports (scope: 1220-1873, coverage varies by court, based on when a court came into existence) reprints nominate reports.  Abbr. as E.R.

English Reports, Full Reprint  (Campus/dorm use or implement proxy instructions.) 

CommonLII, free English Reports database

Reference work that evaluates the quality of nominate reports:     

John William Wallace, The Reporters: Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks (4th ed., 1882)  (Campus/dorm use or implement proxy instructions.)

Year Books (1268-1535)

Year Books (1268-1535)

David J. Seipp, compiler, Legal History: The Year Books            

Indexes and summarizes law reports published in the Year Books.  Links to selected texts.  

BLS Library catalog searches:                                                                                    

This search yields all BLS Library holdings of the Year Books Series published by the Selden Society.

Use the search below if you are seeking a year book from a specific sovereign's reign. 

Keyword search: year books [sovereign’s name] 

Example: keyword search: year books henry vi

J.H. Baker & S.F.C. Milsom, Sources of English Legal History: Private Law to 1750 (1986)

One-volume work that includes the English language text of some old, key cases. 

Tools to "Note Up" UK Cases

ICLR Online (includes The Law Reports) provides a case citator.     

Westlaw provides United Kingdom Case Law Locator.      

Free LawCite provides an automatically generated case & legal journal citator.              

Court Rules & Procedures

Ministry of Justice, Civil Procedure Rules

Includes Civil Procedure Rules and Practice Directions regarding conduct of civil cases in Queen's Bench Division and Chancery Division of the High Court, and, when relevant, in Civil Division of the Court of Appeal.  Subject index.

Ministry of Justice, Criminal Procedure Rules

Westlaw:United Kingdom Civil Procedure

Includes Civil Procedure from Sweet & Maxwell's White Book Service and Bullen and Leake and Jacob's Precedents of Pleadings.

Westlaw: Archbold: Criminal Pleading, Evidence, and Practice

Provides this noted criminal law treatise.

Court Documents

Bloomberg Law > Search > Global Law > Europe > United Kingdom > Courts > Court Filings > England & Wales > Could add sources: Court of Appeal & High Courts.  Enter search terms. 

Includes case documents filed with the UK’s High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division and Chancery Division (in most instances, from Oct. 2006-).  

The Queen's Bench Division filings include Commercial Court, Queen's Bench Division filings and Technology and Construction Court filings, as well as some Administrative Court filings.