UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER
Finding Very Old Cases
It can often be difficult
to trace very old cases (pre-1865) which are not covered in the
modern law reporting series, but they may well have been landmark
cases and are still relevant today. They are useful for tracing the
development of case law in a particular area.
Find out more about electronic and print
resources available below.
A - Z list of law resources
Law resources home
are at present restricted to coverage of the modern law reporting
series. The list below will give you an idea of the date ranges
covered by the various electronic resources available in the University's
Learning Resource Centres.
You will need Athens authentication to access most library databases. Use the
Guide to find out more about Athens and other passwords.
version of the English Reports is available
to search on both the
Justis databases. The English
Reports provide access to the most important
early English cases from 1220-1865.
Westlaw provides access to U.K.
court decisions from the Law Reports series (A.C., Q.B.,
Ch., Fam.) from 1865 onwards.
Provides coverage of the Law
Reports series (A.C., Q.B., Ch., Fam.) from 1865.
For older cases,
it also gives access to The All England
Law Reports Reprint. This comprises
approximately 6,000 cases from 1558-1935.
In general this useful source covers cases
which have been referred to twice or more in
the All England Law Reports since 1936.
LexisLibrary also provides access to The All England Reprint Extensions, a
companion to The All England Reprints,
containing 1,509 further important cases
with head notes and judgments for the period
1861 until 1935.
All England Reports
This extremely useful source
covers selected cases from 1558 to 1935 which have been referred to in
the All England Reports and Halsbury's Laws Of England. It is
often the best place to start when looking for older case law. You can use the reprint index volume to locate a case by the name of the
parties if you do not have the full
reprint case citation.
is also available electronically via
All England Cases and
- Textbooks and casebooks
Don't forget that authoritative
textbooks and casebooks may be a good place to find out more about
older case law in your subject area. For example
Wylie's Irish Land
Law would be a useful place to look for older Irish land law
cases. Go to the Finding Law Books
page to find out more information about law books.
If the case is listed as part
of your required reading and is not available from any of these
sources, check to see if it has been added to the Offprint Collection
by carrying out a search for the case in the
Ask for help from the library staff if you are unable to trace a
- Document delivery service
Individual students and researchers can make use of the
Document Delivery Service to request a case which cannot be obtained
from your campus library or Learning Resource Centre.
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Finding case law
Last updated: 07/07/10