Case law for non-law students

Case law, legislation and tribunals for non-law students

Use this guide if you are studying Business, Human Resource Management, Construction or any other subject where you need to find case law or legislation but your main subject is not law. If your main subject is Law use our main Law subject guide.

Finding case law

You have access to three main databases for case law:

Westlaw and LexisLibrary are general databases

Building Law Reports is a specialist database

Tip: It is important you read the report your lecturer has specified as cases can be written up in multiple law reports and different law reports will present the case differently.

Understanding a legal citation

Legal citations

Case law abbreviations

The Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations is a free online resource which allows you to search for the abbreviation or the full title of English language legal publications.

Tip: chose 'close' match if you are putting in part of an abbreviation.

Image provided from Citing the Law by Cathie Jackson, Ian Bradley, Matthew Davies and Lynn Goodhew, Information Services, Cardiff University under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Finding legislation

Legislation (statute) and case law are the two primary sources of Scots law. The most reliable sources of UK legislation and case law are Westlaw UK and LexisLibrary. These are specialist databases used by both law students and legal professionals and are updated daily.

Legislation.gov.uk contains as enacted (non-consolidated) UK legislation with full coverage from 1988. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are included. For consolidated legislation use Westlaw.

Finding tribunal decisions
Help guides

You can find guides to Westlaw here