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Subject LibGuides

Please note: This Subject LibGuide has been replaced by the new databases: A-Z / by subject pages, the new Library Search, and the search for things: A-Z page. Please update your bookmarks and hyperlinks as all Subject LibGuides will be removed in September 2020.

Law - UK law reports and cases: Finding cases by subject

This guide aims to provide a brief introduction to the sources which can be used for tracing UK law reports and finding cases by name, subject etc.

Quick Links

Online sources

Use LexisLibrary or Westlaw to search by subject term:

In Lexis, click on Cases and enter text in the Search Terms field, or choose Add Topics to Search to select from a list.

In Westlaw, click on Cases, select Advanced Search, and either enter text in the Subject/Keyword field or select from the List of Terms.

If you are searching for cases which cite a specific piece of legislation, Westlaw has a separate Legislation Title search box with a further option to refine to a particular article, paragraph, section etc.  In Lexis, just enter the legislation title in the Search Terms field.


Printed sources

1.  If you are looking for cases on a particular topic, then the following printed resources all have a subject arrangement:

  • Halsbury’s Laws of England [shelved on the 2nd floor of the BJL at KB 30 H1];
  • Current Law Monthly Digest and Current Law Yearbook [both at KB 1 C9]
  • The Digest [KB 30 E5] which summarises British, Commonwealth and European cases.  Please note: Our subscription was cancelled at the end of 2005.

2.  If you are looking for cases which refer to a specific piece of legislation, then you can use the following:

  • Current law : legislation citator, 1947 onwards  [KB 1 C93] - the acts (statutes) and statutory instruments are listed chronologically.
  • Current law : year book, 1947 onwards, and monthly digest, current year only [both at KB 1 C9] - search under the appropriate subject heading.
  • Law reports index, 1951 onwards [KB 100 L4 I3] indexes the Weekly law reports and other series - look in the "Statutes judicially considered" section.
  • All England law reports, 1936 onwards [KB 100 A4] - look in the "Statutes considered" sections of the “Consolidated tables and index”, the “Current tables and index”, and recent issues.