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English Legal Sources Available through BLS Library: Bills, Hansard, Statutes & SIs

UK Parliament: Bills, Hansard (= Debates) & Parliamentary Papers

UK Parliament, Bills and legislation

  • Tip: UK Parliament's Bills & legislation page includes: Find a Bill feature (scope: 1988-89 Parliamentary session - present Parliamentary session). 
    • When a researcher retrieves a bill, the researcher will see that this site tracks the progress of the bill.
    • During a highly useful BIALII Legal Reference Materials course (Feb. 1-2, 2024), instructor Jackie Hanes (Academic Support Librarian for Economics and Law, University of Warwick) noted:
      •  A UK Parliamentary bill is debated by the entire House during second reading.
      • Subsequently, a cross-party committee examines the bill - the committee will report on the bill. 
      • During a bill's third reading, the entire House will agree on the final version of a bill.
  • Tip: UK Parliament also provides: Bills in previous [Parliamentary] sessions page (scope: Previous Public Bills before Parliament: begins with 2002-03 Parliamentary session + Previous Private Bills before Parliament: begins with 2001-02 Parliamentary session). 

UK Parliament, Hansard (described at this site as "[t]he official report of all Parliamentary debates")

  • Tip: Main screen search box supports searching by keyword(s) or by Member's name.
  • Tip: Also provides links to search House of Commons Hansard or House of Lords Hansard.

UK Parliament supports keyword or phrase searching in the catalog of the Parliamentary Archives.  Only some search results will include links to digital documents. 

UK Parliament provides this explanation and links to sources of some deposited papers (1987-), Committee reports (House of Commons Committee reports (1997-) + House of Lords Committee reports (2001-)), and Command/other Government papers (2005-).  During the BIALII Legal Reference Materials course described above, instructor Jackie Hanes noted the extensive, historic UK Parliamentary Papers database (provider: ProQuest) is a subscription database.  BLS LIbrary does not currently subscribe to this database.

UK Parliament, searchable Web Archive (= 3 "snapshots" taken per year)

Site also directs researchers to:

Statutes and Statutory Instruments (Free)

BIALII, United Kingdom Legislation
  • Supports searching and browsing by title and year.
  • BIALII states: "This database contains both the full text of unconsolidated United Kingdom Statutes from 1988- to date and the full text of Primary legislation of the following types as held and maintained on The UK Statute Law Database (SLD): Public General Acts of the United Kingdom Parliament (1801 to 1900); Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain (1707 - 1800); Acts of the English Parliament (1267 - 1706); Acts of the pre-UK Parliaments (1424 - 1707); and Acts of the Irish Parliament (1495 - 1800)."

British History Online, Statutes of the Realm (Public Acts from 1628-80, 1685-94 & 1695-1701) + Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660

GOV.UK, Retained EU law dashboard

National Archives on behalf of HM Government, 
  • Home page provides tabs to browse legislation from: United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
    • Tip: Use Browse ... Legislation tabs to find legislation by title, year of enactment and number.
  • FAQs page states provides all primary legislation from 1988- and "most pre-1988 primary legislation that is still in force."
    • Most primary legislation is available in "revised" form, which includes amendments.* 
      • *More detail from page Understanding Legislation: "In some cases we only have the original published (as enacted) version and no revised version. This occurs if the legislation was wholly repealed before 1991 and therefore was not included in the revised data set when it was extracted from Statutes in Force. In other cases we may only have a revised version if the original (as enacted) version is not available in a web-publishable format."

University of St. Andrews, Early English Laws

  • This project states it publishes "online and in print new editions and translations of all English legal codes, edicts, and treatises produced up to the time of Magna Carta 1215."

Yale Law School's Lillian Goldman Law Library, The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy

Additional Sources of Historic Statutes

BLS patrons: Feel free to contact for help in finding historic statutes in their original form.  Depending on a statute's date, we might be able to find it in a searchable, historic statutory collection contained in a subscription HeinOnline database, such as: The Statutes of the Realm vols. 1-11 (scope: 1235-1713) or Selden Society Publications and the History of Early English Law > tab: Revised Reports, Statutes and Cases.

Depending on a statute's date, our library team also might be able to find the statute in this print source in BLS Library's storage area: The Statutes at Large from Magna Charta to the End of the Eleventh Parliament of Great Britain, anno 1761 [continued to 1806] carefully collated and revised with references, a preface, and a new and accurate index to the whole.

Statutes and Statutory Instruments (Subscription)

Westlaw provides UK statutes and statutory instruments currently in force.

Westlaw: United Kingdom Legislation: Statutes (scope: statutes currently in effect in UK, scope note states: "[c]overage begins with 1267")

Tip: After retrieving a statute, be aware that link: Analysis yields commencement/status information and amendments, extent information, as well as (often) citing cases and (often) pertinent journal articles and books.

Westlaw: United Kingdom Legislation: Statutory Instruments (scope note states: "Statutory instruments currently in effect in the United Kingdom.  Coverage begin with 1948.")

Westlaw also provides United Kingdom Legislation: Retained EU Legislation

Westlaw also provides selected historic UK statutes and historic UK statutory instruments [from 1992-] in Westlaw: United Kingdom Legislation: Historic  The specific databases are:

Tip: BLS students, faculty and administrators might prefer to begin UK statutory research in Westlaw UK: > click link at top of screen: Westlaw, TWEN, Practical Law... > in pull-down menu, select: Westlaw UK Edge (which directs researchers to: Westlaw Edge UK).  See this helpful tool: Westlaw UK User Guide: About Legislation Content.  This guide notes:

"Westlaw UK contains legislation dating back to 1267 including:

all UK Public and General Acts which were still in force in 1991, and all published subsequently

all Public and General Acts of the Scottish Parliament (ASPS)

all Local Acts published since 1991

all Church of England Measures published since 1991

all Welsh Assembly Measures from 2008-2011

all Welsh Acts from 2012

all Northern Ireland legislation from 1991

selected earlier UK Public and General Acts including all since 1949 published as originally enacted"     


Westlaw UK home screen includes tab: Legislation:

Easy to use Legislation Search template (to view more search categories, click link: More options)

Primary and Secondary Legislation page (including: Brexit: Retained EU Legislation)

Latest Legislation page (including Latest Legislation News)

Bills & Draft Legislation page (providing bills by headings: Brexit, United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)

Tip: Westlaw UK home screen also includes box: Browse by Topic These topic pages guide researchers to many types of pertinent legal sources: latest developments, legislation, policy/guidance, available books, available journals, and Practical Law UK practice notes, trackers, toolkits, checklists and standard documents/clauses.


Lexis+ provides collections: UK Parliament Acts + UK Parliament SIs under category: All United Kingdom Statutes and Legislation. (Provider: Lexis+ UK)

Path: Lexis+ for Law School > Go to Lexis+ (need to be in: Legal Research) > under: Explore: International click: United Kingdom > click: All United Kingdom Statutes & Legislation

Includes UK Parliament Acts.  Scope note states this source "contains the full, amended text of all public general Acts that are currently in force. Legislation that has been recently enacted but is not yet in force is also included. Public general Acts that are no longer in force do not appear in full text."

Scope note also states this source "contains Statutes of England and Wales. Acts that were made by the Westminster Parliament and relate to Scotland only are not included.

Also, there is a link to Welsh Acts.  But there is no link to Scottish Parliament Acts.

Also includes files of UK Parliament Statutory Instruments (SIs), grouped as follows: UK Parliament SIs 1786-1949, 1950-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999, 2000-2009 & 2010-Present.  Scope note states: "full, amended text of all public general UK SIs that are currently in force....UK SIs that are no longer in force do not appear in full text."

Scope note also states: "SIs made by the Westminster Parliament that relate to Scotland only are not included. Local SIs and SIs relating purely to areas outside of London are also not included."

Also, there is a link to Welsh Assembly Measures.  But there is no link to Scottish Parliament SIs.