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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Library workshops for Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (LS551T)

We would like to remind our new LLM students that the library workshops for Critical Legal Thinking are happening next week (w/c 30th of January).

Please check which slot you have been allocated to and come along to the 2-hour workshop to sharpen your information retrieval skills!

Location: PC classrooms 1+2, Floor 2, The Sir Duncan Rice Library

pc_classroom_ul_fl2

Thomson Reuters Westlaw: the platform for US and International legal materials – main features

Thomson Reuters replaced their Westlaw International service with a more user-friendly platform which contains all material previously accessible through Westlaw International.

There are two libraries on this platform; one containing United States material, one containing international material.  You can navigate between the two libraries.

Access to Thomson Reuters Westlaw is still from Westlaw UK via Primo:

  1. Go to Primo and type Westlaw into the search box.
  2. Click on the blue link or on View Online, then log in to Westlaw UK with your university username and password.
  3. Click on the Services tab at the top of the Westlaw UK screen.
  4. Select International Materials – you will be taken to the International Materials Collection.

Search rules

You can search Thomson Reuters Westlaw in the same way as you search Westlaw UK:

  • Use AND (or &) and OR to link your search terms.
  • Enclose phrases in quotation marks “  ”.
  • Use the root expander ! to retrieve all possible endings to a root, eg. pollut! will look for pollution, pollutants, polluted.
  • Use connectors to specify the relationship between your search terms: you can ask Westlaw to look for your search terms to be in the same paragraph /p or sentence /s.  For example “environmental protection” /s regulat! will look for the phrase ‘environmental protection’ in the same sentence as regulation (or regulations or regulate).

Your searches during a session will be under History at the top right of the screen. History will display all documents opened and searches made.

US material

To access material from the US click on Thomson Reuters Westlaw at the top left or on the Home link. Use the browse option to navigate to different types of content from a number of collections.  The search option at the top of the screen searches across all collections of US material.

 

US Westlaw

For cases:

  • From the All Content menu open Cases. From there you can search for All Federal or All State Cases, search for Federal Cases by Court or Circuit, or search by State or other Jurisdictions. You can also search by Topic.
  • Open the advanced search option next to the search bar to perform a search with specific terms and/or to provide a date range, party names or citation. Notice the useful list of connectors and expanders on the right hand side.

For journals:

  • From the All content menu open Secondary Sources. From the Publication Type menu you can refine your search to Law Reviews and Journals. 
  • To better search Law Reviews and Journals click on advanced and enter your search terms in the search boxes like you do when you search Westlaw UK. For even better results, use connectors and phrase marks.

Note: Notice how the search box tab changes names depending on the collection your search is in.

International material

To search the international materials collection (includes Canada, EU, UK, Commonwealth, other jurisdictions) click on International Materials on the right hand side of the Thomson Reuters Westlaw home page.

Important links here: International Materials Index and World Journals (right hand side of screen).  Click on International Materials Index to browse individual titles and jurisdictions.

International Westlaw

For legislation and treaties:

  1. Go to the International Materials Index then click on International Legal Materials.
  2. Within the collection enter search terms in quotation marks.
  3. Search within results to narrow your search further

For all journals:

  1. Click on World Journals to see titles of all journals. This will include US.
  2. Click on a jurisdiction to see all journals listed for the country.

Document management

  • Click on the title to open a document and move around in it by using the arrows in the control panel.
  • You can change the font size, go to a specific section in the document, change the screen mode or click on the download arrow for email/print/download/send to Kindle options.
  • For more options and features and to increase your skills in using this new platform see Thomson Reuters’ own video: Introduction to Thomson Reuters Westlaw or read their user guides.

Remember to Sign Off!

If you have trouble using this database, please come and see us at the Taylor Library or contact:

Janet MacKay
T: 01224 273892
E: j.i.mackay@abdn.ac.uk

*******

Eleni Borompoka
Taylor Library

 

Maintenance: Lexis Library on Sunday 24 April

We have been advised that Lexis Library will be unavailable LexisNexis logo
between 02:00 am and approximately 10:00 am on Sunday 24 April, 2016 for maintenance.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Elaine Shallcross
e.shallcross@abdn.ac.uk

HeinOnline Introduces New Author Ranking Metric

HOL_fullcolorLook out for Author Profile Pages on HeinOnline that provide access to an author’s list of articles and ScholarCheck rankings. Metrics used to calculate an author’s overall ScholarCheck ranking include:

  • the number of times an author’s articles have been cited by other articles
  • by articles written only in the past 10 years
  • the number of times the articles have been accessed by other HeinOnline users within a rolling 12-month period.

A new metric has been added which counts the number of times an author’s articles have been cited by articles written only within the past 12-24 months. HeinOnline  believe “this new currency factor enhances the rankings by considering what’s most relevant today in addition to the other metrics, which account for quantitative author influence.”

Read more on the HeinOnline Help and Support page.

Elaine Shallcross
e.shallcross@abdn.ac.uk

 

Tip of the Day: Lexis®Library revamped

LexisNexis logo

One of the most important legal databases, Lexis®Library has recently undergone a major redesign. LexisNexis, the database provider introduced changes at the end of 2015.

With the new service enhancement, Lexis®Library has a clearer display, a more sophisticated Home Page and more intuitive search facilities. The users have the option to search across ALL subscribed legal content, including Lexis®Library and LexisPSL.

The new Academic User Guide, provided by LexisNexis could help you learn more about
the changes.
To find out more about the database, please read our updated library guides:

Staff at the Help Desk in the Taylor Library are happy to provide further assistance.

Zita Szabo
Information Assistant
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

 

 

Finance (No.2) Act 2015

Westlaw logo

The Finance (No.2) Act 2015 is now on Westlaw UK with all amendments and commencement information.

Westlaw UK aims “to publish all new legislation the morning after publication, with new amendments highlighted within 48 hours. Case digests are written for the most influential cases on the day the judgment is delivered, with Status Icons of all the affected cases updated within 24 hours.”

Elaine Shallcross
Information Consultant, Law & Business
e.shallcross@abdn.ac.uk