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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."  [Quote is from a previously maintained ICLR web page.]
  • 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: Lexis+ for Law School > tab: Go to Lexis+ > Explore Content: tab: International > United Kingdom > All United Kingdom Cases

Includes unreported cases (1980-).

Bloomberg LawBrowse All Content: All Legal Content Search > Select Sources by Global Jurisdiction > Europe > United Kingdom  > Courts  

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

GOV.UK, The Civil Procedure Rules 

GOV.UK, Criminal Procedure Rules and Practice Directions 2020 (last updated April 5, 2021)

Westlaw: International Materials > United Kingdom

Treatises includes Civil Procedure ("White Book") (from Sweet & Maxwell's White Book Service) and Bullen and Leake and Jacob's Precedents of PleadingsTreatises > All United Kingdom Treatises includes Archbold: Criminal Pleading, Evidence, and Practice.

Court Documents

Bloomberg Law > Browse All Content: All Legal Content Search > Select Sources by Global Jurisdiction > Europe > United Kingdom > Courts  

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.