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Last Updated: Jul 17, 2017 URL: http://libguides.lib.hku.hk/uklawreports Print Guide RSS Updates

About Law Reports Print Page
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What is a Law Report?

 It is the written report of a case heard in the courts.

  1. only cases from the higher courts are published,
  2. and of these, only those which are considered to contain points of legal interest
 

Tips for searching UK Law Reports

From Find@HKUL, select Subject Search, enter the search terms:

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  • Law reports, digests, etc. -- Great Britain
  • Law reports, digests, etc. -- Ireland
  • Law reports, digests, etc. -- Scotland
 

Why are cases so important?

House of Parliament

In common law countries the law is developed and expounded by the judges in the Courts. It can only be changed by legislation passed by Parliament, but even this must be interpreted and applied by the Courts. The higher tine Court, the more authority its decisions have, up to the House of Lords whose decisions bind all lower courts.

As a general rule each Court must follow the decisions of every court above it - this is the doctrine of judicial precedence. For this reason, lawyers and judges look to the case law to decide which decision to follow. This is often not easy to establish, and many cases may be referred to before a decision is reached.

 

The 3 most commonly cited law reports

The following three sets contain reports of cases regardless of their subject content.

The Law Reports  
Call Number: PR KF55
Published by the Incorporated Council for Law Reporting since 1865, is the semi-official law reports series, and is the largest and most authoritative set. Its arrangement has always reflected the court structure of the day, originally with 11 separate series containing reports from different courts. Today it is divided into four series one for each of the four major divisions of the higher courts as below.  Issues appear monthly.

 

Law Reports. Appeal Case - [AC]
Print: 1875-
Electronic: Lexis.com 1866-  
Call Number: PR KF55 A73

Law Reports. Family Division - [Fam]
Print: 1972- 
Call Number: PR KF55 C94
ISBN/ISSN: 0264-1119

Law Reports. Chancery Division - [Ch.]
Print: 1875-
Call Number: PR KF55 C32

Law Reports. Queen's Bench Division - [QBD.]
Print: 1875-
Call Number: PR KF55 C86


Also available in electronic format by title search under Find@HKUL via Westlaw Asia      

  • New Westlaw UK Tab > UK Multiple Database Collection > UK Case Reports & Transcripts template
  • HK/UK/AUS Tab > Case Law > United Kingdom Reports All template

    

WLR Weekly Law Reports - [WLR]
Print: 1953-
Electronic: Westlaw UK 1953-Edit/Delete
Call Number: PR KF55 W2
ISBN/ISSN: 0019-3518
Also published by the Incorporated Council, contains many cases which later appear in The Law Reports. Issues appear weekly, which makes it a useful source of more recent cases.

 Also available in electronic format by title search under Find@HKUL via Westlaw Asia      

  • New Westlaw UK Tab > UK Multiple Database Collection > UK Case Reports & Transcripts template
  • HK/UK/AUS Tab > Case Law > United Kingdom Reports All template
All England Law Reports - [AER, All ER]   
Print: 1936-
Electronic: Lexis.com 1936-
Call Number: PR KF60 A5
ISBN/ISSN: 0002-5569
Produced by a commercial publisher, is also highly regarded.
 

Other sets of
Law Reports

These other sets will select cases relevant to a specialised area of law. Examples of this type are:

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Banking Law Reports
Call Number: PR KF65 B2
1991-1997
Continued by Lloyd's Law Reports: banking

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Lloyd's Law Reports: banking - [Lloyd's Rep. Bank.]
Call Number: PR KF65 L6 B2
ISBN: 1461-8532
1998-2001
Continues Banking Law Reports

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Criminal Appeal Reports - [CAR]
Call Number: PR KF65 C8
ISBN: 0070-1521
1909-
Also available in electronic format via Westlaw International

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Lloyd's Law Reports: medical - [Lloyd's. Rep. Med.]
1998-1999
Call Number: PR KF65 L6 M
ISBN: 1461-8540

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Industrial Cases Reports - [ICR]
1972-
Call Number: PR KF65 I42
ISBN: 0306-2163 1073-1176 0306-2163
From 1972 to 1974 the series was titled: Industrial court reports. From 1975 onwards, the series was entitled: Industrial cases reports.

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Simon's Tax Cases - [STC]
1973-
Call Number: PR KF65 S59
Also available in electronic format via Lexis.com

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