Skip to main content

Legal Research Manual

This edition of Legal Research Manual builds on many previous editions. While the manual is designed principally for use with the first year legal research classes, upper year law students will also find it a useful reference.

Sources for Case Law

Online Sources for UK Case Law

  • ICLR Online: The Law Reports, The Weekly Law Reports, Industrial Cases Reports, Business Law Reports, and The Public and Third Sector Reports.
  • Lexis Advance Quicklaw Plus: full text access to U.K. case law, including  the All England Law Reports, the All ER Reprints, and the All England Reporter.
  • BAILII (free): British and Irish case law, European Union case law, Law Commission reports, and other law-related British and Irish material.
  • CommonLII (free): the English Reports.
  • HeinOnline: the English Reports.
  • WestlawNext Canada (individual law student accounts only): case law including Civil Procedure Law Reports series, Criminal Appeal Reports, Entertainment and Media Law Reports, Environmental Law Reports, Fleet Street Reports, Human Rights Law Reports, Landlord and Tenant Reports, Personal Injuries and Quantum Reports, Reports of Patent Cases, and Scots Law Times series.

Print Sources for  UK Case Law

  • The Nominate Reports (pre-1865) - Prior to 1865, collections of law reports were published privately by individuals.  They were referred to by the name of the individual reporter or compiler, and were collectively known as the "Nominate Reports."  The Nominate Reports have been collected and reprinted in three different series: English Reports (ER), Revised Reports (RR), and selected cases in the All England Law Reports Reprint (ALL ER). More information about the Nominate Reports can be found in the next section of this Guide. 
  • The Law Reports (1865 - ) (LR) - Published since 1865, The Law Reports are widely regarded as the most authoritative series of law reports for England and Wales. They are are the official series of Reports cited in the High Court and Court of Appeal. More information about The Law Reports can be found in a later section of this Guide.
  • The All England Law Reports (All ER) -This series began in 1936 and is the most widely accepted commercial series in England (there is also a separate All ER Reprint Series reporting important cases from 1558-1935). Separate Canadian Supplement volumes (1936-1976; 1977-1987) cite Canadian cases which have judicially considered English cases initially reported in the All ER.  There is also a looseleaf volume of Canadian annotations to the consolidated tables and index, which is located in the English Law Reports section of the Law Library.

Sources for Cases Judicially Considered

  • Using the note-up functions in online databases, as available
  • Law Reports Index
  • All ER Index
  • Current Law Case Citator