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Sources of Law - Legislation: United Kingdom

Introduction

There are three separate legal systems operating in the United Kingdom for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. England and Wales, and Northern Ireland operate a common law system; Scotland operates Scots law system, which is a mixed instead of pure law system, sharing varies similarities to Roman-Dutch law.

This page is to provide useful resources related to the legislation of the United Kingdom, divided into three categories 

Database Training

To enhance your legal research skills, each year in early October, we will invite specialist trainers from LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters to give training sessions to law students. Don’t miss the opportunity to equip yourself with search skills using Lexis Advance Hong Kong and Westlaw AsiaThere will be an announcement about the exact dates for the event in late September. 

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Official Sources

Legislation.gov.uk (Enacted and revised UK legislation(click to visit)

This is the official website of UK legislation maintained by the National Archives on behalf of the HM (her majesty’s) government. It offers comprehensive resources on legislations and relevant materials of the UK covering Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

Gazette (click to visit)

The Gazette is the UK’s official public record comprising three publications: The London, Belfast, and Edinburgh Gazette. The Gazette is also the official home to the Queen’s Birthday and New Year honours, which are published on the Queen’s official birthday in June and in the New Year.

 

UK Parliamentary Bills (click to visit)

This website is maintained by the UK Parliament which archived bills (e.g. public bills , private member’s bills, private bills and hybrid bills) from 1988-current originated by the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

 

Hansard Online (click to visit)

Hansard is useful materials in understanding the debates and decisions made by Members. In the UK, Hansard materials are available for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Hansard Online generally provides records from 28 April 2017 to the present. For historical records of the two Houses, you may refer to the below links for direct access:

Scottish Parliament (Bills and Laws) (click to visit)

This website is maintained by The Scottish Parliament which archived bills in every stages, including Government Bills, Member’s Bills, Committee Bills, Private Bills and Hybrid Bills that have been examined by the Scottish Parliament up to last 12 months.

Northern Ireland Assembly (click to visit)

This website is maintained by The Northern Ireland Assembly and has archived Bills from the 1st Mandate (from 1999 to present) to 5th Mandate (from 2017 to present).

UK Law Commission

As a statutory independent body, the Law Commission aims to ensure the current law is fair by conducting “examination of different branches of the law”. From their site, you may find information on a law reform project, statue law repeals, consolidation and more.

 

UK Treaties Online (UKTO)

This website is maintained by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the UK Government. Provides an official record of the UK's treaty obligations under international law and is sourced by Treaty Section of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. UKTO gives access to information on over 14,000 treaties to which the UK is or has been a party with links to texts of command papers published in the UK Treaty Series from 1892 to current.

HKU Libraries’ Resources

Lexis Advance Hong Kong (LAHK) 

LAHK provides consolidated old and current primary and secondary legislation including acts, statutory instruments and etc, for UK, Scotland and Wales. To view the content, you may follow the steps: click Browse (top bar menu) > select Publications > United Kingdom > By Content Type:  select UK Legislation.

 

Westlaw Asia

Provided by Thomson Reuters, this database provides consolidated primary and secondary legislative coverage, including acts, bills, statutory instruments and etc., for UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It offers access to historic and prospective versions of all primary and secondary legislation.

You may select Content Type (top bar menu) > Legislation (left navigation menu) > United Kingdom Legislation > pick from the list of options. 

Other than browsing with Content Type, you may start with Jurisdiction first and followed by selecting the content type.

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers 

The resource provides an online archive of House of Commons sessional papers (from 1715), record of proceedings, the debates (Hansard), the House of Commons journal and Papers of the House of Lords, covering the below periods:

  • 18th century (1688 - 1834)
  • 19th century (1801 - 1900)
  • 20th century (1900 - 2004)
  • 21st century (2004 - )

Halsbury’s Statutes of England and Wales

This title provides exclusive information on the statute law of England and Wales. To understand how to use it, you may refer to the Guide on How to Use Halsbury’s Statutes provided by LexisNexis for more details.  

 

Halsbury’s Annotations

Officially named as Halsbury’s Statutes Annotations derived and generated all notes presented in volumes of Halsbury’s Statutes of England and Wales. To know more about this publication, check out LexisWeb.co.uk for details.

 

Halsbury’s Statues Citator

Similar function as case citator, this publication offers a quick and handy access to the current status of all statutes. To know more about this publication, check out LexisWeb.co.uk for details.

 

Halsbury’s Statutory Instruments

This title provides updated and fruitful information on every statutory instrument in force in England and Wales

 

Halsbury’s SI CItator

This title lists full title of the statutory instruments presented in Halsbury’s Statutory Instruments in alphabetical order, with consolidated information and latest status. To know more about this publication, check out LexisWeb.co.uk for details.

 

Halsbury’s Laws of England

Published by the Butterworths, the Halsbury’s Laws of England is an authoritative and comprehensive encyclopaedia that covers all English law. To understand how to use it, you may refer to the Guide on How to Use Halsbury's Law of England provided by LexisNexis for more details.  

Open Access Resources

British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)   (click to visit)

Supporting the free access of legal information, BAILII offers an extensive collection of materials. You may either conduct the search by selecting the Legislation Search with keywords, or click on the A-Z legislation title index for browsing individual legislation.