Find legal information - the Electronic Law Library

Legal information is relevant for many subjects - here are the key databases to help you find what you need

This guide gives you an overview of key resources for finding legal information and what material they include.

If you're new to legal resources and want to know how they can support your studies: check out the legal information section in our Library Research Skills Moodle module.

With LibrarySearch you can cross-search a broad range of library resources from a single interface, but it doesn't cover some key legal sources due to their specialist nature.

Search the databases below directly for comprehensive legal research. You can also browse all our databases relevant to law students.

Key database for UK law

LexisLibrary: search for cases, up to date legislation, journal articles and legal books from the UK, EU, US and other selected jurisdictions worldwide. Includes:

  • the authoritative encyclopaedia of law in the England and Wales
  • Halsburys Laws
  • material from Family Law Online.

Westlaw UK: search for cases, up to date legislation, journal articles from the UK.

  • Use the Overview to get a summary of a legal topic and use the Case Analysis tool to find out more about your case.
  • Also includes a range of legal books covering a wide variety of legal topics.
  • To access the Books click on the drop down button next to the WestlawUK logo and select Books.

VlexJustis is home to the largest collection of legal and regulatory information in the world. Updated daily, the vLex Justis legal database provides access to exclusive collections from both common law and civil law jurisdictions, and enables users to search for cases from over 100 other services and publishers, all on a single platform.

The vLex Justis service superseded JustisOne in 2022 and through the new platform you are now able to access case judgments, statutes and local acts, news, and legal commentary from across the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Singapore, the EU and international courts, alongside an extensive index of case law across the Commonwealth.

International and other jurisdictions

Westlaw International: legal databases providing access to selected case law, legislation and commentary from the United States and other jurisdictions. To see countries covered, select Other International Jurisdictions

LexisLibrary International: a full-text legal database including legislation, case law and journal articles from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United States.

HeinOnline: legal research database containing:

  • back runs of law journals from around the world
  • US and early English case law
  • federal documents and US and Canadian legislation
  • Foreign & International Law Resources Database, which has yearbooks from around the world including the African, Asian and Jewish Yearbooks of International Law
  • World Constitutions Illustrated. 

ICC documents and cases, plus other international and national cases and documents.

Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL): a comprehensive online resource containing peer-reviewed articles on every aspect of public international law

Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises 1800-1926: comprehensive searchable full-text collection of Anglo-American legal treatises with content from casebooks, local practice manuals, form books, works for lay readers, pamphlets, letters, speeches and more. 

Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law: full-text online editions of Oxford University Press reference works and treatises on international law. Includes:

  • general works on international law such as Oppenheim's International Law and Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law
  • works on international environmental law, human rights law, refugee law, international economic law and much more. 

Oxford Historical Treaties (OHT): the premier resource for historical treaty research and home to the full text of The Consolidated Treaty Series, the only comprehensive collection of treaties of all nations concluded from 1648 through 1919. 

SCC Online platinum: a full text law database providing access to Indian legal content and legal material for other nations. It covers:

  • case law and legislation from India
  • case law only from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, US, Canada and a wide range of international courts. 

Transnational Dispute Management: commentary, legal and regulatory materials on transnational economic, commercial and financial disputes contains:

  • summaries and analysis of all World Trade Organisation (WTO) reports and arbitrations 
  • a database of dispute settlement tables and statistics
  • a search tool for WTO cases, legal texts, and other documents. 

ENDS Report: searchable service for environmental issues, containing news, official reports, UK/EU policy and legislation, plus information on jobs and other activities. 

Free Movement: updates, commentary and advice on immigration and asylum law. Topics include EU free movement, nationality, human rights, family immigration, detention, deportation, children and asylum. 

GreenFILE: covers all aspects of human impact to the environment. Its collection of scholarly, government and general-interest titles includes content on global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.

Human Rights Studies Online: covers human rights violations and atrocity crime across the globe. With both primary and secondary material spanning the 20th and early 21st century the database provides historical context, international response, prosecution of perpetrator and steps toward rebuilding as well as seeing the individual impact through diaries, letters and personal items. 

South Asia Archive: culturally and historically significant material produced from within and about the Indian subcontinent. Material includes journals, reports from colonial and post-colonial India, books, legislation, acts, regulations and case documents as well as Indian film booklets from 1930-1949. 

State Papers Online (1509-1714): original historical primary source materials including correspondence, reports, memoranda, and parliamentary drafts from ambassadors, civil servants and provincial administrators present a full picture of Tudor and Stuart Britain

To find articles and further reading on a legal topic search:

Use these specialist legal indexes to identify more readings: 

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP): a multilingual index to articles and book reviews appearing in nearly 600 legal journals published worldwide. It provides in-depth coverage of public and private international law, comparative and foreign law, and the law of all jurisdictions.

Index to Legal Periodicals and Books (H.W. Wilson): includes indexing of scholarly articles, symposia, jurisdictional surveys, court decisions, books, book reviews and more. It indexes journals from US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand on a range of legal topics. 


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