Online Legal Resources

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Recent years have seen a proliferation of online legal resources, ranging from specialist databases to sites offering advice, information, and legal services to the layperson. The following is a selection of authoritative, quality-controlled sites that provide free information on essential legal topics. These resources are widely used by law students and legal professionals but can be navigated quite easily by those with no previous background in legal research. To access any of these websites, go to the dictionary's web page at http://www.oup.com/uk/reference/resources/law, click on Web links in the Resources section, go to Appendix web links, and then click through to the relevant site.


• Lawlinks: a portal maintained by the University of Kent. Annotated links provide access to a wide range of resources, including primary materials (cases and statutes).

• Access to Law: a links directory compiled by librarians at the Inner Temple, London. The site provides links to materials on civil procedure, courts and tribunals, case law, and legislation, as well as to specific subject areas.

• Infolaw: the UK's first source of online legal information. Its lawfinder service, which is widely used by lawyers, provides access to numerous resources, including Acts and cases.

• Intute Law: a gateway service developed by Social Sciences: Intute, a consortium led by staff at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham. There are links to a wide range of resources, including primary and secondary materials.

• Lawbore: the law portal of City University, London. The resource is designed primarily for law students, with links arranged according to subject area.

• Venables: a directory compiled by Delia Venables. Links provide legal information for individuals, companies, students, and (especially) legal practitioners.


• Bailli: the website of the British and Irish Legal Information Institute. This is the most comprehensive free-access database for primary English law materials.

• Office of Public Sector Information: the OPSI website provides full texts for all UK legislation since 1987, including statutory instruments and Acts of the devolved institutions. These appear without later amendments. A good deal of amended legislation passed in the period 1801–1987 is now also available at this site.

• Statute Law Database: the official online database for primary legislation in the UK. This is particularly useful for viewing how Acts have been amended over time.

• Houses of Parliament website: provides details of all bills currently before Parliament (including full text and current status) and verbatim reports of debates in both Houses.

• Europa: provides direct access to European Union law, including treaties, legislation, and case law.

• Ecolex: a comprehensive resource for environmental legislation worldwide. Ecolex provides details of treaties, national legislation, EU directives and regulations, and court decisions.

• Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL): a directory of links to treaty collections, UN resolutions, and other primary materials compiled by the American Society of International Law. There are also links to regional and intergovernmental organizations.

Case Law

• Bailli: see under Legislation above.

• House of Lords: full text of all judgments of the House of Lords since November 1996. The site is updated daily.

• Law Reports: website of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting, compilers of the official Law Reports and Weekly Law Reports. It provides summaries of important cases since January 2005, including industrial cases and decisions of the European Court of Justice.

• Swarb: David Swarbrick's site provides a substantial case-law database, extracts from statutes, and advice and information on legal topics.

• Scotcourts: recent significant judgments of the Scottish courts, together with court rules and other information.

• Employment Appeals: decisions of the Employment Appeal Tribunal from 2000 onwards.

• Interights: summaries of important human rights decisions from courts and tribunals around the world.


• Advice Now: an independent not-for-profit service providing advice on everyday legal matters (consumer rights, employment law, divorce, compensation claims, buying and selling property, etc.).

• Community Legal Advice: the website of Community Legal Service Direct provides free downloadable factsheets and links to sites dealing with specific legal issues.

• Your Rights: a layperson's guide to the Human Rights Act 1998 provided by Liberty, the UK human rights and civil liberties organization.

• Chambers and Partners: a database of lawyers and law firms in 175 countries compiled by the publishers of the Chambers guides. Searchable by region and area of expertise, it also features merit rankings based on interviews with clients.

From A Dictionary of Law in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Law.

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