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United Kingdom Law: Databases

Legal Databases for Holders of an Oxford SSO: Quick Start

None of the databases are fully comprehensive and as the majority are commercially produced they only contain content that they have permission to reproduce and this is typically material that they have published themselves or they have been able to 'buy' from other publishers.   On this page is a selection of some of the major UK databases.  There are online tutorials for these on the Legal Research Skills guide.  A list of all legal databases in the Bodleian are contained on our website , please use the link below:

Westlaw Edge UK

Westlaw Edge UK is produced by Thomson Reuters and is one of major UK Legal databases. It is a subscription database and available to OU members with an Oxford SSO. (On initial visit, each reader is asked to set up a personal registration - but this does not involving changing the username/password credentials.) Our subscription includes Practical Law.

Law Reports and Cases

  • The Law Reports series  - 1865 onwards
  • Weekly Law Reports
  • A large number of subject specialist reports
  • The English Reports (reprint of the nominate reports)
  • Unreported transcripts
  • Case Analysis documents including case summaries and citator information


  • Fully consolidated full text of acts since 1267 (currently in force)
  • Statutory Instruments since 1948 (currently in force)
  • Selected historical versions of acts


  • The Legal Journals Index which has abstracts of every UK published legal article from 1986
  • A large number of full text journals including the Criminal Law Review, Public Law, Cambridge Law Journal and Oxford Journal of Legal Studies


  • The Common Law Series including Chitty on Contract and Clerk and Lindsell on Tort 
  • Dicey and Morris on Conflict of Laws
  • White Book (Civil Procedure)
  • Archbold on Criminal Procedure

Lexis + UK

Lexis+ UK (formerly LexisLibrary) is produced by Lexis Nexis (formally Butterworths) and is one of the major UK legal databases.  It is a subscription database which is available to OU members with an Oxford SSO.  Contents include:

Law Reports and Cases

  • The Law Reports series - from 1865
  • The All England Reports (main series as well as specialist series)
  • A number of specialist law reports series
  • The English Reports
  • CaseSearch (case citator)
  • Unreported transcripts


  • Fully consolidated texts of act (currently in force) 
  • A historical version service
  • Statutory Instruments currently in force


  • An index of legal journals abstracts
  • A number of full text journals including the New Law Journal (selected articles only), Law Society Gazette, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies and Family Law


  • Halsbury's Laws of England
  • A large number of Lexis Nexis Butterworth publications such as Clarke Hall and Morrison on Children
  • Other standard practitioners' texts such as Banks on Sentence


i-law is a specialist legal database.  OU members have access to material which includes:

  • The Lloyds Law Reports
  • Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly
  • Dispute Resolution (selected legislation and commentary - including Briggs on Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments)

vlex Justis

vlex Justis (formerly JustisOne) 

  • English/UK case law going back to 1163 including State Reports, English Reports and a number of other specialist series
  • Acts (unamended but with links to amendments) going back to 1235
  • Statutory Instruments (unamended) going back to 1801 (not comprehensive)
  • Foreign and international law reports & transcripts



HeinOnline is a legal database which from a UK Law perspective is useful for its law journal collection, and Anglo-American legal historians benefit from five specialist databases Statutes of the Realm, English Reports, the Legal Classics and  Selden Society Publications and the History of Early English Law.

Reliable open access websites for primary sources of UK law is free to anyone with access to the internet. It is maintained by the UK Government.  It replaced the Statute Law Database and the legislation section of OPSI.

Contents (taken from the website)

  • All legislation from 1988 – present day is available on this site as amended.
  • There are no secondary legislation items (e.g Statutory Instruments) available before 1988 as they are not available in a web-publishable format.
  • Most pre-1988 primary legislation is available on this site. In some cases they only have the original published (as enacted) version and no revised version.
  • Legislation originating from the EU as set out in Schedule 5 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (c. 16) along with corrigenda (correction slips for EU legislation) and EU Directives published up to the end of the EU Exit Implementation Period at 11:00 p.m. on 31 December 2020 ("IP completion day")

The British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) provides access to the most comprehensive set of British and Irish primary legal materials that are available for free and in one place on the internet. BAILII is hosted in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London and the Law Faculty, University College Cork.  (Taken from website).


  • Transcripts from the House of Lords and now Supreme Court from 1838
  • Selected transcripts of Court of Appeal Civil Decisions from 1883
  • Selected transcripts of Court of Appeal Criminal Decisions from 1964
  • Selected transcripts of High Court decisions (date range varies by division see website for more details)
  • To date a minimal number of Family decisions in the Magistrates and County courts.
  • Selected transcripts from a large number of tribunals (see website for further details)
  • Legislation (some as originally enacted and some amended) 1800-
  • Public General Acts of the United Kingdom Parliament (1801 to 1900)
  • Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain (1707 - 1800)
  • Acts of the English Parliament (1267 - 1706)
  • Acts of the pre-UK Parliaments (1424 - 1707)

From April 2022, the National Archives (TNA, UK) has begun hosting a searchable database of transcripts of judgments from the England and Wales High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and tribunal decisions from the Upper Tribunals. As of June 2023 coverage starts with decisions of 2003.

Databases for all Disciplines