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Legal Research skills Case law Academic Support Librarian October 2010 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.

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Presentation on theme: "Legal Research skills Case law Academic Support Librarian October 2010 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal Research skills Case law Academic Support Librarian October 2010 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

2 Why learn legal research skills? To understand your reading lists To go beyond your prescribed reading To widen your research for your essays and dissertations Mooting Further study – Masters..and beyond.. Job – law firms/chambers expect trainees to be able to carry out legal research Skills learnt now will continue to be useful to you in any further law studies or career.

3 What are we talking about? Terms you will come across Primary sources Case law Law report Judgment Transcript Decision Opinion Secondary sources Books Journal articles

4 Why is case law important? Where judicial precedent applied in courts by judges interpreting statute law Large body of law within case judgments Therefore: important to understand hierarchy of courts important to find fullest reports of judgments Law libraries will have access to collections of law reports to enable research both in print and electronically across several centuries

5 What are law reports? Published reports of cases Not all cases are reported in UK Only a small proportion of all cases heard published Why are some reported? Interprets/clarifies/reinforces statute law Overturns a previous judgment Editors of law reports series select what is to be published

6 What are law reports? Several reports of the same case can exist Format might be different - judgment will be the same in all NOTE: some law reports are more authoritative and respected above others particularly in court and in mooting practice

7 Reading a law report Names of parties Dates of hearing in court Judge/judges Catchwords ; Headnote Lists of cases cited in the judgment Legislation cited Summary of actions and facts Judgments – full verbatim text Solicitors ; Names of Counsel

8 Case citations Derry v Peek (1889) L.R. 14 App. Cas. 337 R v Lowe [1973] QB 702 Airedale NHS Trust v Bland [1993] 1 AC 171 Re D (A Child) [2007] 1 A.C. 619 Party names - year - volume - law report abbreviation - page Tip: Follow this principle in many jurisdictions not just UK

9 Abbreviations Cardiff Index of Legal Abbreviations http:// www.legalabbrevs.cardiff.ac.uk Or in print, Raistrick Index to Legal Abbreviations and Citations [Reference Collection K50 R51 first floor] - same abbreviation can refer to different law reports - if in doubt check jurisdiction (i.e. UK/Canada/Australia ) Search for series title on Library Catalogue – will show print and/or online version Print - note classmark and location, e.g. KD275 Locate on first floor - Law books and Law reports block Or access Electronic version – use the link on the Catalogue or go to E-Journals pageE-Journals NB: no individual case name will be on the Library Catalogue

10 Is one report more authoritative/official than another? Indexes and databases usually list the references in order of importance: Pepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart, House of Lords, 26 November 1992 Where Reported: [1993] A.C. 593; [1992] 3 W.L.R. 1032; [1993] 1 All E.R. 42; [1992] S.T.C. 898; [1993] I.C.R. 291; [1993] I.R.L.R. 33; [1993] R.V.R. 127; (1993) 143 N.L.J. 17; [1992] N.P.C. 154; Times, November 30, 1992; Independent, November 26, 1992

11 The Law Reports, 1865 - Several sequences representing different courts: AC, Ch. KB/QB, Fam. Authoritative series for England & Wales Judgments are approved by the judges before published Should be "cited in preference where there is a choice". Where? Law Books and Law Reports KD275 – 279 1 st floor Westlaw UK – select Cases; search by case name or keywords in document text (free text) Justis – select Cases. Displays in original format Lexis Library – select Cases; search by case name; keywords in document text

12 Weekly Law Reports (WLR) 1953 – KD282 W39 first floor Westlaw UK Justis All England Law Reports (AllER) 1936 – KD288.A64 A41 first floor Lexis Library Specialised law reports series – many of these Simons Tax Cases (STC);British Company Cases (BCC)… Use Library Catalogue for print / online Or use E-Journals web page to locate which database to use – search by series titleE-Journals Other law reports

13 Online resources for case law Image Placeholder #1 Image: Screenshot of the Cases search page of online legal service Westlaw UK Subscription resource: Yes Edited: No Date: 2010 Image Placeholder #2 Image: Screenshot of the Cases search page of online legal service Justis Subscription resource: Yes Edited: No Date: 2010 Image Placeholder #3 Image: Screenshot of the Cases search page of online legal service Lexis Library Subscription resource: Yes Edited: No Date: 2010

14 Finding by case name If you have no citation just the party name(s): Online – use Cases option; one / both party names Westlaw UK – case law from 1235 - Lexis Library - case law from 1865 - Justis / JustCite (The Law Reports, Weekly Law Reports) Print indexes/digests of cases The Law Reports Index (first floor) Current Law KD296.C8 C97 (first floor) Covers UK case law reported since 1947 Alphabetical Index by first party name Annual volumes – Current Law Yearbooks

15 Image Placeholder Image: Screenshot of the Cases search page of online legal service Westlaw UK Subscription resource: Yes Edited: Yes Amendments: The cases tab in the top of the screen is circled in red Date: 2010

16 No need to add the V Image Placeholder Image: Screenshot of the Cases search page of online legal service Westlaw UK Subscription resource: Yes Edited: Yes Amendments: In the 'Party Names' field, the names 'donoghue' and 'stevenson' are written. These names are circled in bold red, and 'No need to add the 'V' is written to the side in large bold red text. In the 'Browse' section below, the hyperlinks 'Case Analysis Documents' and 'Law Reports and Official Transcripts' are circled in bold red. The text 'Browsing options if you know the references' is written in large bold red text. Date: 2010

17 Image Placeholder Image: Results screen for the Donoghue v Stevenson search described above, on Westlaw UK. Subscription resource: Yes Edited: Yes Amendments: The search result is: Donoghue v Stevenson, House of Lords, 26 May 1932. The last field of the search result is called 'Documents'. The documents are listed as hyperlinks, called 'Case Analysis'; '[1932 A.C. 562]', '1932 S.C. (H.L.) 31'; '1932 S.L.T. 317'. These hyperlinks are circled in bold red text. Next to this, large bold read text reads 'Full text documents on Westlaw'. Date: 2010

18 Finding cases by subject Online Westlaw UK – search by keywords in free text in Cases Lexis Library – keywords in Search term box in Cases Justis – free text box in Cases Search by keyword, names, legislation or other case names Print – use the subject indexes of: –Current Law back to 1947 - KD296.C8 C97 (first floor) –The Law Reports Index 1865 - KD285 L41 (first floor) –The Digest - KD296.E52 E51 –Textbook collections

19 Case summaries Westlaw UK – Case Analysis section Lexis Library – CaseSearch section JustCite Lawtel UK – daily updates WLR Daily – daily updates on latest cases in High courts WLR Daily Newspaper reports, e.g. Times Law Reports (Lexis Library) Law journals, e.g. Solicitors Journal, New Law Journal Current Law Yearbooks and Monthly issues, KD296.C8 C97 Use for: keeping up to date reading key facts and outcome of decisions

20 Following history of a case Need history of a case to establish whether cases are still good law Judgment can: Be overturned by a later case; Overturn an earlier judgment Apply principles of a previous one; Follow or approve a previous decision Be followed by a later (subsequent) case Use Westlaw Case Analysis record Lexis CaseSearch record Justis – look at the tabs on a case display Print: Current Law Citators and Current Law Yearbooks, first floor - summaries and index note where a judgment has been followed, applied, distinguished.

21 Case Analysis – Westlaw UK Image Placeholder Image: A screenshot of the screen displayed after clicking on the 'case analysis' hyperlink provided in the search results screen, on Westlaw UK. Subscription resource: Yes Edited: Yes Amendments: Text in the centre of the screen is circled in bold red. This reads 'Status: - Negative Judicial Consideration'; 'R. (on the application of Purdy) v DPP'; 'Court of Appeal (Civil Division)'; '18 February 2001'; 'Case Analysis'. Next to this selection is the bold red text: 'February Judgement noting that affected by another decision - see Appellate History for details. On the left of the screen, the hyperlinks underneath the title 'Case Analysis' are circled in bold red. The selected text reads: Where Reported; Case Digest; Appellate History; Significant Cases Cited; Legislation Cited; Journal Articles'. Date: 2010

22 Appellate / Case History Image Placeholder Image: A screenshot of the screen displayed after clicking on the Appellate History' hyperlink described above, on Westlaw UK. Subscription resource: Yes Edited: Yes Amendments: Links to three documents are displayed on the right, in chronological order. In the centre of the screenshot, large, bold red text reads February judgement was reversed by House of Lords judgement in July 2009 Date: 2010

23 Case searching on Lexis Library Image Placeholder Image: Screenshot of the Cases search page of online legal service Lexis Library Subscription resource: Yes Edited: Yes Amendments: The search boxes Case name; Sources; and Search terms at the top of the screen are circled in bold red. Large, bold red text reads Insert party names or key subject words Date: 2010

24 Full text official judgment Image Placeholder Image: A screen shot listing search results, having entered 'Purdy' into the 'Case Name' field of the case search screen. Subscription resource: Yes Edited: Yes Amendments: Three results are circled in bold red, to illustrate the different types of sources listed. The 1st circled result is 'R (on the application of Purdy) v Director of Public Prosecutions'. Large, bold red text above this reads 'full text official judgement'. The 2nd circled result is 'R (on the application of Purdy) v Director of Public Prosecutions - 109 BMLR 153'. Large, red bold text to the side of this reads 'published law report'. The 3rd circled result is 'R (on the applpication of Purdy) v DPP [2009] UKHL 45, [2009] WLR 403'. Large, red bold text to the side reads 'CaseSearch provides notes about cases'. Date: 2010

25 CaseSearch on Lexis Image Placeholder Image: A screen shot displaying the options available after clicking on a CaseSearch option described above. Subscription resource: Yes Edited: Yes Amendments: A bold red line circles a table in the centre of the page, which has three entries in it. The table column titles are 'Annotations'; 'Case Name'; 'Citations'; 'Court'; 'Date'; and 'Signal'. Large, bold, red text above the table reads 'See annotations about a case plus links to other related decisions'. Date: 2010

26 Justis Image Placeholder Image: A screen shot displaying an individual record, after searching for Purdy on the Justis case search page. Subscription resource: Yes Edited: Yes Amendments: A bold red circle highlights the tabs at the top of the page, which are Outline(in blue), Also Reported In, Cases Considered, Subsequent Cases, Legislation Cited, and Related Articles. To the side, large, red, bold text reads Tabs with notes about case history, legislation, articles Date: 2010

27 Recent / unreported cases Only small number reported so many unreported All cases have neutral citation Can be confusing as abbreviation here does NOT refer to a print copy law report Cases can be published on the internet before they appear in a law report series R v Herbert & Ors [2008] EWCA Crim 2501 (29 October 2008) Name - year – jurisdiction - court - division - case number - para

28 Finding recent / unreported cases Locate online Recent judgments: BAILII www.bailii.org.ukwww.bailii.org.uk High Court judgments back to 1997 Can be published within hours Westlaw UK For unreported cases look at Official Transcript Lexis Library Unreported cases back to 1980

29 Old cases Modern law reporting began in 1865 You will need to locate cases prior to this date, e.g. Dalloway (1847) 2 Cox CC 273 Use Cardiff IndexCardiff Index Will be reprinted in English Reports, 1235 – 1865 175 volumes, KD270 E51 first floor Easier to use online at any of these: –Westlaw UK –Justis –Hein Online –CommonLIICommonLII Tip: online versions make pre-1865 cases easier to find and use. Search by keywords or name.

30 Why not use Google? Much information is freely available but be aware: No quality standards or peer review Information can be moved, changed or removed without warning, wrong, out of date and biased Law changes – being up to date is paramount. Know that you are looking at authoritative information, e.g. official court or legislation websites e.g. BAILII, EUR-Lex Wont include information from law databases such as Lexis or Westlaw therefore not a complete picture. Have a look at this Internet tutorial: http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/tutorial/law/ http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/tutorial/law/ If rely only on Google searching, you will miss crucial information and could be using inaccurate information.

31 Electronic resources recap Electronic Resources via Library website Electronic Resources Use the subject guidessubject guides When know the database that you need, use the Library Catalogue search by database name Law reports listed on E-Journals webpage – will specify which database to use for a series – search by series titleE-Journals Use LSE username and password to access

32 Further reading Use if you are researching a new topic or jurisdiction. All will cover both hard copy and electronic methods of research. Note: some titles are a few years old but the principles of legal research and hard copy materials remain valid although online information resources may change. Bradney, A. Cownie, F. Masson, J. Neal, A. Newell,D How to study law. Sweet & Maxwell, 5th edition. 2005 Clinch, P. Using a law library OUP, 2nd edition. 2001 Finch, E., Fafinski, S. Legal Skills OUP, 2007 Holborn, G. Butterworths Legal Research Guide. Butterworths. 2nd edition, 2001 Knowles, J., Thomas, P Effective Legal Research. Sweet & Maxwell, 1st edition 2006

33 Guidance and help Legal research books/guides: use when covering new jurisdictions/subjects Law Library guide Internet for law tutorial


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