Understanding citations – CASES

  1. INTERPRETING CASE CITATIONS

GENERAL RULES

What does case citation mean?

Case citation is a system of referencing by which legal professionals can identify a legal case heard and decided by one of the courts in the UK.
A full case citation starts with the Case name in italics followed by the neutral citation (where available) and/or the reference for  law report series where the case was published. The citation tells you where to find the case (in paper or online) if you need it.
For cases from Scottish and English courts, the citation usually has 3 distinct parts:

  • year
  • abbreviation (for the law report series in which the case was published)
  • page number.

Parallel citations

You may see more than one citation following the party names. These are parallel citations, and refer you to the case in different law report series. You do not need to find all the law reports which published the case to read it. You should use the most authoritative citation which is the first one right after the party names. Parallel citations offer an opportunity to find a case in different law reports if the library does not have the most authoritative source.

Neutral citations (case identifiers)

The neutral citations were introduced in the UK in 2001, and in Scotland in 2005. This system means that decisions of the superior courts in both Scotland and England are issued with unique judgement numbers. So, the last number after the abbreviation is not a page number but the identifier of the case.

courts-1

ANATOMY OF A CASE CITATION

scottish-cases

english-cases

neutral-citation

*Law reports are usually cited by abbreviation rather than the full title. Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations can help you understand the meaning of abbreviations for the titles of English language legal publications.

2. TRACKING DOWN CASES ON PAPER AND ONLINE

Law reports are available on paper in Block C and Block D of the Taylor Library. They are shelved by title in alphabetical order running down the right hand side of the lower level of the Library. The current parts of law reports are on the display stand near the entrance. All law reports are for reference use only.

For electronic versions of the law reports you have to consult the legal databases (Westlaw, Lexis Library, HeinOnline). Alternatively, you might want to check Primo, our resource discovery tool, for individual law report titles. (Do a ‘title search’ instead of a search by citation.) Please note that not all years are available for all law reports.
For more information on accessing and using legal databases, please read our library guides.

3. PRINCIPAL SERIES OF LAW REPORTS

SCOTLAND (this is not a comprehensive list of resources)

  • Session Cases (SC)
  • Scots Law Times (SLT)
  • Scottish Civil Law Reports (SCLR)
  • Scottish Criminal Case Reports (SCCR)
  • Scottish Criminal Law (SCL)
  • Green’s Weekly Digest (GWD)

ENGLAND (this is not a comprehensive list of resources)

  • The Law Reports

4 subseries within The Law Reports:

Appeal Cases (AC)
Chancery Division (CH)
Family (Fam)
Queen’s Bench (QB)*

  • Weekly Law Reports (WLR)
  • All England Law Reports (All ER)

*It can be King’s Bench (KB) – it changes with the monarch.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please visit the library or email us.

Taylor Library & EDC
 lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

 

 

 

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Understanding citations – LEGISLATION

STATUTES

  1. UK Parliament statutes

Statutes prior to 1963

Each piece of legislation passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom is known as an Act of Parliament. In the citation of the Act, the number(s) before the letters represents the years of the reign of the monarch during which the relevant parliamentary session was held. Parliamentary sessions did not coincide with calendar years, and usually they spanned more than one calendar year.

For example

enough

The citation here means that The Railways (Extension Time) Act is the 18th Act passed during the session that started in the 31st year of the reign of Victoria and which finished in the 32nd year of that reign.

Modern statutes (since 1963)

Each modern Act of Parliament commences with a ‘Short Title’, which is a relatively brief name almost invariably used to identify the Act. The Short Title also includes the year of enactment. This is followed by a chapter number, which denotes the sequential number of the Act in the calendar year.

For example

new-statutes

The citation means that the Human Rights Act was the 42nd Act of Parliament passed in the year 1998.

2. Scottish Parliament statutes

The Scotland Act 1998 and the Scotland Act 2012 guarantee the power to the Scottish Parliament to create their own legislation in certain fields. Acts of the Scottish Parliament commence with a ‘Short Title’ (usually containing the word ‘Scotland’ in brackets and the year of enactment) followed by the acronym ‘asp’ (which stands for ‘Act of the Scottish Parliament’) and a number  (which increases consecutively from number 1 with each Act in the calendar year).

For example

scottish-act

This citation means that the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act was the 1st Act of the Scottish Parliament passed in the year 2016.

DELEGATED LEGISLATION

  1. UK Statutory Instruments 

The most familiar type of delegated legislation is the Statutory Instrument (SI). Statutory Instruments in the UK are centrally registered and issued with a number which resumes from ‘No. 1’ at the start of each calendar year.

For example

si-1

2. Scottish Statutory Instruments

Each Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) made by the Scottish Government is in essentially the same form as the UK Statutory Instruments although cited using the prefix ‘SSI’. They are separately numbered, with the numbering resuming from ‘No. 1’ at the start of each calendar year.

For example

ssi

If you have any questions or need assistance, please visit the library or email us.

Taylor Library Team
 lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Book sale in Taylor Library

booksale1

We are excited to announce that our annual book sale starts from Monday 16 September 2019, in Taylor Library. We have a great range of very good quality books and textbooks for sale from top publishers.

The books on sale are arranged on two trolleys close to the main Issue Desk, and they have green tape on their spine. Paperback books cost £1.00, while hard covers are sold for £2.00 each, cash only. Everybody is served on a first come first serve basis.

Taylor Library Team
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

New Look Westlaw UK is live

Legal Information Update

Westlaw UK has recently undergone some major interface changes, refining many features and bringing the general look and feel in line with Westlaw International.

As before you should access Westlaw UK via Primo, our resource discovery tool. Users familiar with the previous Westlaw UK interface will have no trouble locating cases, legislation and articles etc, as the content header tabs are similarly displayed at the top of the page in the collections navigation bar. Clicking on any of the main content tabs opens up a second layer of tabs, providing in depth searching and browsing options. You can also search across all collections or browse by topic right from the home page. The Options button allows you to select specific collections to search across.

Westlaw UK new look homepage: Westlaw UK new look homepage: The collections Navigation Bar, Options button and Browse by Topic highlighted

Cases

The Cases tab opens up to Cases…

View original post 459 more words

Taylor Library Closed for Staff Training this Thursday Morning

Top of C stairsThe Taylor Library will be closed on the morning of Thursday the 22nd August for staff training purposes, between 9am and 12:30pm. The dropbox will be situated outside the library entrance for any Heavy Demand items you may have to return. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Taylor Library regular opening hours
(scroll down to see vacation opening hours)

Please see the Academic Calendar for information on Term start and end dates.

New Look Westlaw UK is live

Westlaw UK has recently undergone some major interface changes, refining many features and bringing the general look and feel in line with Westlaw International.

As before you should access Westlaw UK via Primo, our resource discovery tool. Users familiar with the previous Westlaw UK interface will have no trouble locating cases, legislation and articles etc, as the content header tabs are similarly displayed at the top of the page in the collections navigation bar. Clicking on any of the main content tabs opens up a second layer of tabs, providing in depth searching and browsing options. You can also search across all collections or browse by topic right from the home page. The Options button allows you to select specific collections to search across.

Westlaw UK new look homepage:

Westlaw UK new look homepage: The collections Navigation Bar, Options button and Browse by Topic highlighted

Cases

The Cases tab opens up to Cases Home in the second layer of tabs giving you the option to search for specific cases by Free Text, Subject/Keyword, Party Names or Citation. The next two tabs in the second layer provide browsing options, so you can browse by court or by law report series title.  The fourth tab allows you to search for Quantum Reports. This one is a new addition, stay tuned for updates.

WLaw2

Westlaw UK Cases Home page: Second layer of tabs highlighted at the top, and More Options for advanced searching

Legislation

Clicking the Legislation tab takes you to Legislation Home and allows access to a complete collection of consolidated UK, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Acts and Statutory Instruments which you can browse or search directly. Clicking More Options at the bottom of the search box enables you to search across historical and prospective legislation. The rest of the second layer of tabs provides options to browse organized lists of:

  • UK Primary & Secondary legislation
  • UK Bills & Drafts
  • Policy & Guidance
  • Latest Legislation
  • Key Legal Concepts

Journals

The Journals tab is where you can find full text UK legal journal articles from major publishers such as Sweet & Maxwell, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.  You can also link to over half a million article abstracts from UK and EU legal journals.

Within any collection search page you can open up collection-specific advanced searching facilities by clicking on More Options at the bottom of the search box. This way you can refine your search to show only the most relevant results.

Westlaw UK’s document display pages include smartly organised links to a variety of supporting materials in the menu bar to the left of the display window. To the right of the display window are various Delivery options that allow you to email, print, download, you will also find options to organize documents using the Personalisation Tools:

Personalisation Tools

At the top of the Westlaw UK interface there are some features that allow you to personalise your research experience, such as: Favourites, Folders, History and Alerts. To make the most of the personalisation tools click on User Guides in the grey footer at the bottom of Westlaw UK and click Personalisations in the menu on the left side of the page for step by step instructions.

For more information and help using the database, Westlaw UK has a comprehensive User Guides section which you can access from within Westlaw via the link in the grey footer at the bottom of the page.

Our detailed library guides on Westlaw UK will be going live on the University Website later this week. And once term starts there will be regular library workshops on how to make the most of this resource.