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Northern Ireland Case Law 

Northern Ireland has its own body of case law.  There is a variety of database and print resources available in the University libraries to help you find Northern Ireland cases. 
There is also a number of freely available internet resources.

Quick links:

A - Z list of law resources

Finding case law home
Law resources home


The following databases are a selection of the best to use to trace Northern Ireland cases.
You will need an Athens authentication to access most library databases.  Use the Password Guide to find out more about Athens and other passwords.  

Remember that if you cannot find the case you need then ask a librarian for help.

Database Coverage details


LexisLibrary is the best place to start when looking for Northern Ireland case law.
It covers the Northern Ireland Law Reports (the main law reporting series for Northern Ireland) from 1945 and Northern Ireland unreported judgments from 1984.

Westlaw UK

Westlaw does not provide comprehensive full text access to Northern Ireland case law.  However you may find the Case Locators search option useful for tracing Northern Ireland cases when you have been given an incomplete citation.  Selected cases from the Northern Ireland Law Reports and Northern Ireland Judgments Bulletin are included with an indication of where the case has been reported and a brief summary of the facts and findings of the case.

Bulletin of Northern Ireland Law

The electronic Bulletin of Northern Ireland Law provides summaries of all reported and selected unreported Northern Ireland cases from 1996. Where the case is available freely on the web links to the full text are provided.  The Bulletin also digests selected Northern Ireland tribunal decisions including  Employment Appeals Tribunal,  Lands Tribunal and Planning Appeals Commission decisions.

Planning Online

Planning Online is a website containing searchable databases with records of all planning applications in Northern Ireland since 1993.  Details of all planning appeals are included from 1997 with
most records including the full text of Decision Letters and Commissioner's Reports.

Print resources

Click on the titles of the publications listed below to find details of library holdings. If the title you require is not listed below then use the library catalogue to check its availability.

  • Northern Ireland Law Reports
    The Northern Ireland Law Reports is the main law reporting series for Northern Ireland.  The series commenced publication in 1925 and covers Northern Ireland High Court and Court of Appeal cases.  From 1970 Northern Ireland cases on appeal to the House of Lords are also included.
  • Northern Ireland Law Reports Bulletin of Judgments
    The Northern Ireland Law Reports Bulletin of Judgements (also known as the Bluebooks or the Northern Ireland Judgements Bulletin) was published from 1972 onwards and includes some cases not which do not go on to appear in the Northern Ireland Law Reports.  
  • Index to Northern Ireland Cases
    The Index to the Northern Ireland Cases 1921-1997 is a comprehensive index of cases decided in Northern Ireland courts including decisions of the House of Lords on appeal from the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland.  
  • Bulletin of Northern Ireland Law
    The print edition of the Bulletin of Northern Ireland Law runs from 1981.  In addition to providing summaries of all reported and selected unreported Northern Ireland cases, it is a useful source of digests of tribunal decisions and tax cases.
  • Textbooks
    Textbooks are often a good place to start when trying to track down case law on any topic.  Use the keyword search in the  library catalogue to find books in the library or go to the Finding Law Books page for more information.

Internet resources

  • UU Guide to Internet Resources for Law
    There are a growing number  websites which provide free access to the full text of law reports. See the Case Law section as well as the specific section on Northern Ireland. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with resources available on the web.  Use this guide as a starting point to ensure you access good quality legal information on the web.

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Last updated: 07/07/10
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