Useful information to you for your first assignment – Library Exercise required by Legal System (LS1025) course

As a first year law student, you will be required to complete a mandatory Library Exercise in the Legal System course in late September. In this exercise, students have to come to the Taylor Library, and find answers to around 30 questions set by the School of Law. This activity introduces two very basic collections to you: the Law Report Series and Official Publications collections. It helps you navigate through legal cases and primary legislation, and it shapes your knowledge on legal terminology.

This is the very first assignment you have to face, and students are often overwhelmed by the challenge. To make the completion of the Library Exercise easier, and more successful, we put together the following list of instructions.

Cases

  1. Read the questions carefully! You will find questions related to court cases. To find the right answers, you need to know what the case citation means in a particular case.
  2. Decoding citation is not always straightforward, especially if you have never done this before. Please follow the hyperlink to get help with understanding case citation.
  3. In the Taylor Library, there are posters everywhere which can explain what the different abbreviations stand for. Look for posters like this at the end of the shelves.Abbreviation posters
  4. Once you know the meaning of the abbreviation, you are on the right track to find the resource you need. For example, if the abbreviation is SC, and you have figured out that this stands for Session Cases, then the next step is to locate this law report series in the library.
  5. Law reports are stored on the right hand side of the lower level in Block C and Block D, and they are arranged in alphabetical order.

Legislation

  1. Around half of the questions concern legislation. And, just as with legal cases, legislation also has its own citation regime. Please follow the link to learn more about citing legislation.
  2.  The Official Publications collection which contains the resources you need is found at the back of  lower Block D, on the right hand side. Block D downstairs
  3. In order to answer the questions, you will need these publications:Statutes
  4. There are always a few questions concerning the Current Law Statutes Annotated collection which can be found on the lower level in Block C, opposite the Help Desk.

TIPS!

  • This is an individual assignment and not group work. Please work alone, and ask the library staff, and not your fellow students, if you need help.
  • Certain resources are stored downstairs in Block D. We would like to remind you that it is a Silent Study Zone, so talking is not allowed there.
  • And finally, this is a paper exercise. You are expected to find the answers in the library and not online. Please try to avoid using electronic legal databases.

We hope that this exercise will be a pleasant and rewarding experience. Do not worry if you cannot find the answers right away, you still know where you can find us. Please, come to the Help Desk or to the Issue Desk in the Taylor Library, and do not be afraid to ask for help.

Good luck with your Library Exercise!

Taylor Library Team
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

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Hello from Janet, your Information Consultant

Janet

Hi! I’m Janet MacKay, the Information Consultant for Law. I’m here to support the students and staff in the School of Law. I qualified as a librarian in 2003, and have been a member of the Teaching, Liaison & Consultancy team in the University of Aberdeen’s library since 2011.

The best way to contact me is by email as I am often teaching or at meetings. My email address is j.i.mackay@abdn.ac.uk. I work in The Sir Duncan Rice Library (SDRL) for part of the week as I am also the Information Consultant for the Business School – my office in SDRL is on Floor 4. If you have any questions, please get in touch. If I’m in my office in Taylor Library, just knock! It’s the room with the ‘Librarian’s Office’ notice on the door.

If you are a new student, we’ll be meeting in workshops where I’ll be teaching you how to find the literature to support your studies and beyond.

See you soon!

Welcome to the Law Library

Welcome photo

The library team welcomes all new and returning students to Taylor Library. Once you’ve admired our brilliant new carpet, please wander around the shelves and check what we can offer to you.

The new book shelf is full with items acquired over the summer. The latest parts of the legal journals and law reports can be seen on our display unit. We have tidied the periodicals, the law report collection, as well as the general law book collection upstairs, and we are happy to report that quiet a few missing items were found, though not everything.

As a modern academic library, we can offer not only paper resources but e-books, e-journals and access to quite a few mainstream legal databases

Please follow the links, if you need information on library servicesfacilities and law resourcesOur guides provide quick help for any kind of library or resource related problems.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you in the library soon, and wishing you all the best of luck in the 2017/18 academic year.

Taylor Library Team
 lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

 

UK primary and secondary legislation

The present post gives you a short summary of the primary and secondary legislation in the United Kingdom in accordance with the Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA, 4th edition).  It could be particularly useful for students who are writing their dissertations over the summer and want to cite UK legislation. For more information, please see pp. 23-28 in the OSCOLA user guide.

8737200170_0975ecc980_o

© UK Parliament

UK primary legislation:

  • Acts of the UK Parliament
  • Bills
  • Acts of the Scottish Parliament
  • Scottish Parliament Bills
  • Acts of the Welsh Assembly (previously known as Welsh Measures)
  • Welsh Assembly Bills
  • Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly
    (or previously, Acts of the Parliament of Northern Ireland)
  • Bills of the Northern Ireland Assembly

UK secondary legislation:

  • UK Statutory instruments (previously known as Statutory rules, regulations
    or orders)
  • Rules of court
  • Statutory instruments of the Welsh Assembly
  • Statutory instruments of the Scottish Parliament
  • Northern Ireland statutory rules.

 

Taylor Library Team
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

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

 

 

 

 

 

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