The Library has produced handouts to help you locate law resources:
Note: some of these documents are in PDF format. In order to view a PDF you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.
From 2006/7, all House of Commons and House of Lords papers and bills as well as Command Papers and debates of standing committees are available from the Public Information Online database. For publications prior to this date use House of Commons Parliamentary Papers database or Official Documents and Official Documents Archive websites. Further details can be found on the Government Publications page. Access to Parliamentary papers (including reports produced by Select Committees) can also be found at the Parliament website, which also includes a wealth of information about Parliament, Parliamentary business and the progress of current and draft Bills before Parliament.
are listed on the Library Search and many (not all) are kept in the Wills Memorial Library at classmark KF46. In addition Law Commission reports from 1996 onwards are available online on the Law Commission website.
Print versions of statutes and statutory instruments as enacted can be found in the Wills Memorial Library at classmark KF21-22 and statutes as amended at KF23.H1.
Free online versions of statutes and statutory instruments are available from a number of sources including legislation.gov.uk and BAILII. For up-to-date information on the current (or amended) status of legislation always consult one of the subscription databases, Westlaw or Lexis Library.
Exam papers for recent years are held in print in the Wills Memorial Library Law Reference Collection.
They are also available online on Blackboard via Law Student Information > Assessment > Past exam papers . Some individual unit pages may also contain past papers, together with feedback on previous years' assessment.
PhD theses relating to law are kept in the Computer Room in the Wills Memorial Library. Please consult staff at the Information Desk if you would like to use one. Note that use of theses is confined to the library.
The Inter-Library Loans (ILL) service can be used to obtain items not held in print in the University's libraries or available online. Please speak to your Subject Librarian about these items as they may be able to suggest other means by which we can access them.
Bibliographic databases index articles from a large number of journals and are useful to search when looking for articles on a particular topic. Catalogues list books and other material held in selected libraries. Many databases can be accessed through our Databases page, including this list of Key Law databases and a selection of other useful databases:
|Westlaw||Westlaw UK has full text UK law reports, legislation and journals, with an emphasis on intellectual property and commercial law titles. Other featured areas include insurance, accounting and financial services, banking, construction, employment, property and health and safety. Legal Journals Index, Financial Journals Index Archive, and (Current Law) Case locator and Legislation locator are incorporated into Westlaw UK, as are recent transcripts. EC cases and legislation are also present. US materials are covered in depth, with both federal and state reporters, and 100's of full text journals.|
|Lexis Library||A full text database containing CaseSearch citator, plus 66 UK law report series in full text including the All England law reports, the ICLR 'official' law reports, and the Times law reports. There are 39 UK legal journals available in full text for recent issues. UK newspapers can be searched as individual titles, UK Broadsheets, UK Nationals or UK Newspapers, with full text coverage from the mid-1980s. Family law practice area materials are also available.|
|HeinOnline||Provides a fully searchable archive of law journals. Most titles are from the United States with an increasing number of titles from the UK. Each title starts at volume 1 and many go back to the late 19th century. The journals are scanned into the database so each page appears as an image version of the print copy.|
|House of Commons Parliamentary Papers||Provides online access to House of Commons sessional papers from 1715 to the present, with supplementary material back to 1688. Each record is fully indexed and searchable, and it is possible to search the full text of the papers. Alternatively, there is a browse subject catalogue facility.|
|Kluwer Arbitration||A leading online resource for international arbitration research containing a wealth of commentary from expert authors and an extensive collection of primary source materials. Members of the University are able to gain access to exclusive materials including ICC cases and awards.|
|Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL)||An online resource consisting of fully cross-referenced, scholarly articles on all aspects of Public International Law. The topics have been selected to reflect both the history of public international law, and recent growth areas such as international criminal law, human rights, international economic law, and environmental law. MPEPIL is a fully updated online edition, edited by Rüdiger Wolfrum, of the Encyclopedia of Public International Law published in print between 1991 and 2001 under the general editorship of Rudolf Bernhardt.|
|Web of Science - Core Collection||
The databases available within the Web of Science - Core Collection are:
Entries prior to 1981 do not include abstracts.
|Scopus||A large abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. Scopus has journal coverage in many subjects across the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities.|
|Zetoc (Electronic Table of Contents)||Provides access to the British Library's Electronic Table of Contents (ETOC). The database covers all subjects and contains details of approximately 20,000 current journals and 16,000 conference proceedings published per year. The database includes almost 15 million references to articles from 1993 to date and is updated daily. Some records include abstracts, when present these are found on the 'Full record' page. Document delivery is offered as well but this is at your cost. An email alerting service is available that aims to help you keep up-to-date with relevant new articles and papers.|
|Medline on OvidSP||Produced by the US National Library of Medicine, Medline on OvidSP covers the international literature on biomedicine, including the allied health fields and the biological and physical sciences, humanities, and information science as they relate to medicine and health care. Information is indexed from approximately 5,600 journals published world-wide. Data available goes back to 1966 and the database is updated weekly.|
|International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS)||Includes references dating back to 1951. Over 2,800 journals are regularly indexed and some 7,000 books are included each year.|
|Business Source Complete||A major scholarly business database, providing access to bibliographic and full text content. As part of the coverage offered by this database, indexing and abstracts for the most important scholarly business journals back as far as 1886 are included. Covers more than 1,200 journals.|
This page contains a brief selection of Internet resources which may be useful for legal reference and research. Many are freely available online.
Gateways are collections of links to quality resources, covering specific areas of law, organisations and other jurisdictions.
As well as Westlaw and LexisLibrary which both include legislation as amended, and the print sources available in the library, other websites and databases which cover legislative material for the UK include:
Westlaw and LexisLibrary both contain full text of the Official (ICLR) Law Reports. Westlaw also includes WLR, CMLR, FSR, RPC, and English Reports. A full list can be found in the Browse section under the Cases tab. LexisLibrary includes All ER, EG, Fam. LR, and IRLR. A full list can be found in the Browse section under the Cases tab. Other online websites for case law include:
It is important to cite work referred to or quoted from in your essays, to avoid plagiarism.
Abbreviations can be an issue for law students - ensure you are using the correct abbreviation for journals and law reports by checking online with Cardiff Index of Legal Abbreviations or in print with Raistrick's Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations which can be found in the Wills Library reference section at K112
The University Library also provides general guidance on citing references.
EndNote is the University of Bristol's recommended bibliographical management software, which can be used to collect, store, organise and manage references, and to output them as reference lists or bibliographies. A particularly useful function is 'Cite While You Write', enabling you to format Word documents, producing bibliographies and adding references within the text.
Updated 21 January 2016 by the University Library
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