law reports

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Reports of cases decided by the courts, comprising a statement of the facts of every case and the reasons the court gave for judgment. The earliest reports were contained in the Year Books, which were published annually between 1283 and 1535. Their authors were anonymous and may have been student lawyers. The Year Books were superseded by the so-called nominate reports, i.e. reports written privately by lawyers (e.g. Chief Justice Coke) who appended their names to them. In 1865 the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting, a semiofficial body that publishes the official Law Reports series and The Weekly Law Reports (formerly Weekly Notes), was established. The Weekly Law Reports are reports of important cases selected by the Council, written by lawyers, and approved by the judges involved. There are in addition still a number of commercially published reports, e.g. the All England Law Reports, but the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords will cite the reports of the Incorporated Council in preference to other reports where there is a choice. For guidance on the citing of law reports, see the Writing and Citation Guide at the centre of this volume.

Subjects: Law.

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