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Legislation databases

Print legislation

Parliamentary publications

Web links


Passwords for legal databases

Most databases are controlled by Athens authentication. You are automatically authenticated when you log in via Portal. Databases are listed on the Learning Resources tab in Portal.


Top tips

  • Library databases are best for UK (Westminster) legislation. 
    They do not provide reliable access to Northern legislation.
  • Go to the Web links section for more information about
    the various sources of Northern Ireland legislation.


Westlaw UK



  • UK Statutes as amended

  • Statutory Instruments

  • UK historic legislation back to 1991

  • EU legislation from 1952  

  • International treaties including US Treaties from 1778, US Treaties in Force and International Legal Materials  (select Services, Westlaw International on the Welcome Screen for access to international materials)

    Westlaw also provides useful related Information including information on commencement, status and pending amendments to statutes as well as links to citing cases and relevant journal articles where available.




  • UK Statutes as amended

  • UK Statutory Instruments

  • Acts of the Scottish parliament. 

  • EU legislation from 1952

  • Some International legislation  (select Sources, Browse Sources, then narrow by country to check coverage) 


Justis includes:

UK Statutes
- Full text of Acts of the Westminster Parliament from 1235, including the full text of repealed legislation.  This is particularly useful where legislation has been repealed for England and Wales but remains in force in Northern Ireland eg Landlord and Tenant Law Amendment Act (Ireland) 1860 (Deasy's Act).

UK Statutory Instruments - covers Statutory Instruments from 1949 onwards and includes Northern Ireland Orders in Council. 


Celex is the official legal database of the European Union and is available via the Justis service.  It provides access to the full text of the Official Journal 'L' series, the authoritative source of EU legislation.

To find a directive:
Select EU on the welcome screen. If you have the document number of the directive you require then enter the details in the resulting search form e.g. 91/271 (Enter 'Directive, 1991, 271' in the Document Type boxes).
If you do not have the number of the directive you require then carry out a free text search using appropriate keywords.

Halsbury's Online 

Electronic version of Halsbury's Laws, the major legal encyclopaedia, available via LexisLibrary.  Use this database to find cases and legislation in a particular subject area.

Bulletin of Northern Ireland Law

A comprehensive digest of Northern Ireland Law from 1996 with some links to full text material.  It includes digests of recent developments in EU law affecting Northern Ireland.


Use the Treaties and Agreements library in HeinOnline to access a comprehensive collection of US Treaties. 

Print legislation

Tip: Use the title search option of the library catalogue if you are looking for a particular print publication.

  • The major print sources held in the library are listed below.  Click on the title to find location and the years held (if any) on each campus. 

Print legisation

Public General Acts Official series of UK Acts of Parliament.  Alphabetical and chronological lists of all Acts are included at the front of each annual volume. 

Accompanied by:
Chronological Table of the Statutes

Lists all statutes currently in force and indicates which sections have been amended or repealed.
Index to the Statutes
ists statutes under alphabetical subject headings and sub-headings.
Northern Ireland Statutes No matter what constitutional arrangements are in effect, Northern Ireland primary legislation has been collected together in annual volumes to make up a Northern Ireland Statutes series.
From 1921-1972 the series was called the Public General Acts.  From 1972 onwards they became formally known as the Northern Ireland Statutes.  Acts and Measures of the various Northern Ireland Assemblies are also included in the Northern Ireland Statutes series.

There are two accompanying volumes to help in tracing Northern Ireland primary legislation:

Chronological Table of the Statutes Northern Ireland
A list of all legislation which affects or has affected Northern Ireland since 1310.  Click on the title to check library holdings.

Index to the Statutes: Northern Ireland 
The Index to the Statutes Northern Ireland is arranged in subject order.  As well as indexing Northern Ireland legislation it also covers Westminster Acts affecting Northern Ireland. Click on the title to check library holdings.
Statutes Revised,
Northern Ireland 2nd ed
Volumes  A-D 1226 - 1920  contain the amended text of all pre-1920 legislation still in force in Northern Ireland.
Volumes  1-9 1921 - 1981 contain the amended text of Northern Ireland statutes only.

United Kingdom Statutes enacted since 1921 which apply in Northern Ireland are not included.
The set is updated by an annual Cumulative Supplement which in addition to listing all amendments to legislation in the thirteen volumes of the Statutes Revised, also notes amendments to the Northern Ireland Statutes from 1982 onwards.  
Don't forget that the up to date version of the Northern Ireland Statutes are freely available on the official UK Statute Law Database.
Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland The Statutory Rules and Orders of Northern Ireland (S.R.& O.s) commenced publication in 1922.  From 1974 onwards they have been called the Statutory Rules (S.R.s). The Statutory Rules are the delegated or secondary legislation for Northern Ireland. 

Index to Statutory Rules and Orders Northern Ireland
The looseleaf Index to the Statutory Rules and Orders is arranged in subject order and is updated regularly.
Halsbury's Statutes Amended text of all UK legislation in force.  Statutes are arranged alphabetically by subject within each volume.
The Halsbury's Statutes User Guide at the front of the Current Statutes Service Volume A which will help you use the volumes and updating service correctly.

Is it in force?
Is it in force? service enables you to check whether legislation is in force or repealed.
Halsbury's Statutory Instruments UK Statutory Instruments currently in force arranged in subject volumes.  The most important Statutory Instruments  are reproduced in full with annotations, while the rest are in summary form.  Volumes are continually reissued and an additional looseleaf Service binder brings the set up to date. 
The EC Legislation Implementator volume details European legislation implementation by UK Statutory Instrument.
Current Law Statutes Annotated Collection of statutes printed as they were originally published but with some notes. These notes are particularly useful for tracing pre-legislative information such as Command Papers, details of Parliamentary debates on the Bill etc.  The Current Awareness Service File looseleaf volume includes a useful Parliamentary Debates Table which lists Hansard references for substantive debates in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords for Public General Acts from 1950 onwards.

Parliamentary publications


Hansard is the official record of the proceedings of Parliament. Hansard is available for the UK Houses of Parliament and for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Parliamentary Papers

Parliamentary papers are publications produced by parliament such as Command papers and House of Commons (HC) papers.

Parliamentary papers online:

All publications of the Northern Ireland Assembly are also available online.

Parliamentary Papers in print:

  • Jordanstown and Magee libraries collect selected individual official publications which you can find by searching the Library Catalogue.
  • The University of Ulster library at Coleraine has a substantial archive of parliamentary papers.  Ask the Subject Librarians for more information about this collection.

Web links

UK Statute Law Database Free source of revised UK legislation from 1267 onwards. SLD also covers all the devolved Parliaments and Assemblies.  SLD is the only online source for revised Northern Ireland legislation.

Use with care; always check the update status of the legislation you are consulting

OPSI Access to unrevised , i.e. 'as enacted' legislation
Legislation.gov.uk Newly launched site for official UK legislation. 


Content still being added so use with care.
Irish Statutes
The Irish Statute Book website provides access to Acts of the Oireachtas from 1922, Irish Statutory Instruments from 1922 and the Chronological Table of the Statutes from 1922. 
Europa The official website of the European Union. Includes access to Eurlex, which provides extremely comprehensive coverage of European Union law including the full text of EC/EU Treaties and an online Directory of Community legislation in force arranged in broad subject categories with links to the full text of EU legislation. The full text of the Official Journal is also available.
Online Library Law Guide More links to high quality websites selected by your librarians.


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Last updated: 16/09/10
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