Reviewed by PLC Public Sector in October 2012.
An outline of freely available sources of case law and legislation in the UK.
Unfettered access to case law and legislation is vital for the public understanding of law and to the development of skills in legal research and legal practice. Legal professionals, the business community and the general public are able to access a number of sources of this information free of charge, as well as via the journals, textbooks and online services published by the major legal publishers.
British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)
BAILII provides access to freely available British and Irish primary legal materials, including case transcripts and legislation, EU case law, Law Commission reports, and other British and Irish legal materials. BAILII allows direct access to its materials free of charge and does not require users to have passwords. Practitioners can link directly from their own materials to a judgment or a paragraph in a judgment on BAILII. Users can search for cases by case citation or title or browse an A-Z title list.
For a detailed summary of the specific case law available via BAILII see Case law on BAILII.
On 29 July 2010, www.legislation.gov.uk was launched by the government to give clearer, faster and easier access to legislation. The website will replace the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) and Statute Law Database (SLD) websites, which are in the process of being decommissioned and users are being re-directed to the new Legislation.gov.uk website.
For more information, see 'Groundbreaking' legislation website launched, The National Archives press release, 29 July 2010 and Legislation.gov.uk: About Us.
Whether you're working from home, from your office or on the go, you can access your favourite English law, Scots law and tax titles from publisher Bloomsbury Professional through www.practicallaw.com. For more information, see PLC Books online.