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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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

 

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

New platform launched for Westlaw International materials

Thomson Reuters have announced the launch of a neater, more user-friendly platform called WestlawNext to replace its Westlaw International service.

To use the new service look for the ‘International Materials’ link in the Services menu on Westlaw UK.

Westlaw_Next

The new platform will be available alongside the original Westlaw International service until 18 December 2015, when the ‘Westlaw International’ link will be turned off.

Training materials are available from Thomson Reuters:

If you have any questions about the new platform please contact the Taylor Library or Elaine Shallcross.

Elaine Shallcross
Information Consultant for Law and Business

The benefits of creating a Westlaw UK profile

Westlaw logo

Westlaw can help you to better organize your research. With a Westlaw profile
you can:

  • add documents to folders
  • email/print/download documents
  • create alerts
  • and use the Linkbuilder tool.

You can still access, email, print and download individual documents or result lists without a profile, but if you are planning to use Westlaw a lot, you will definitely benefit from the extra features that a profile offers.

Important:
Access to Westlaw UK should always be through Primo whether you are creating a profile or not. Login to Primo and go to the Find Databases tab at the top. Click on ‘W’ and scroll down until you reach Westlaw UK. Click on the link. The database might ask you to provide your University username and password, a process also known as
Shibboleth authentication.

To create a profile:

Once you are linked out to Westlaw (through Shibboleth authentication) you will see a smaller window with the heading ‘Log in to My Westlaw UK Profile’ prompting you to Log In or Skip.

Create profile final

1) Click on Create Profile. Provide your first name, last name and your email address and click on Create.
2)  Go back to your email to obtain your password. Login to your profile will be by           providing the email you registered with (as your username) and a password.
3) Enter your username and temporary password. When you sign in to My Westlaw UK for the first time, you’ll be asked to change your password to something more memorable. This needs to be between 6 and 25 digits long.

new password

Next thing you will see is this screen:

When you have finished setting up your profile and Log In, your name will appear at the top blue line. Westlaw will always suggest that you log in to your profile.

The benefits:

Adding documents to folders    Picture1

When you find a case, journal article or piece of legislation that is of interest to you, save it in a folder so you can go back to it later. How? Simply click on the Add to Folder icon on the right of the light blue line across the top of the screen. An Add to Folder menu will open. You can save the document in one of your existing folders, or, for first-time users: create a new folder by typing a name in the box and clicking on New Folder. Next time you login to Westlaw, you can visit your folders from the My Folders link at the very top of the screen (dark blue line). All of your saved documents will be there. A great way of organizing your findings!

Creating alerts     ALARM

If a specific case is of particular interest to you, you can create an alert for it and thus be informed of any changes; e.g. when its status changes, or when it gets referenced in a journal article, when it’s cited by another case, or when another case has been heard between the same parties on a different point of law. To create a Case Alert, go to the Case Analysis document, the full text or Graphical History and click on the Create Case Alert link at the top right hand corner of the screen. (Looks like an alarm clock.) You can also create an alert for a list of results from a specific search.

Click on Alerts (blue line at the top) to go back to your saved alerts and run a search again or edit it, or to change the way your alerts are set up!

And…

The Linkbuilder tool   linkbuilder

This feature allows you to create direct links to material on Westlaw UK. The links can include authentication; meaning that upon clicking on them, users will have to provide their University username and password. You can create and send links to result pages, individual documents or search templates.

To use this feature you need to have a profile with Westlaw. Next step is to contact Westlaw UK Customer Support Team on 0800 028 2200 or by email at:  customer.service@westlaw.co.uk and request access to the Linkbuilder tool.

To create a link:

1) Navigate to the document and click the Build Link icon on the top right hand corner of the screen. You will be presented with a link creation screen. (The Linkbuilder screen.) You can choose your method of authentication here:

2) For the University of Aberdeen authentication is via the entityID URL for Shibboleth. (Deselect the Save sponsor code option.)
Enter the following in the entityID URL box: https://shibserv.abdn.ac.uk/shibboleth and make sure the Save entityID URL box is ticked.

3) Click Copy to Clipboard at the bottom of the screen. The link is now ready to be pasted into any document. Remember that you can also ‘hide’ links under citations or words (in other words, linkify words or parts of text) if you are creating and publishing
material online.

Read this guide to find out more about the Linkbuilder tool.

Tip: If you skip logging in to your profile and later decide that you would like to use the extra features that a profile offers, the way to log in is by clicking on the Westlaw UK icon at the top left hand corner, then clicking on MyWestlaw to bring up the log in window! Your name will appear at the start of the blue ribbon at the top.

Remember to Log Out!

—————————————————————————————————————–

For more information on using Westlaw UK, find our Library guides here.
Come and see us in person if you need help with Westlaw or any other legal database!

Eleni Borompoka
Taylor Library & EDC
01224 272601
eleni.boro@abdn.ac.uk
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

 

 

 

MAINTENANCE: Westlaw UK

Westlaw logoWestlaw UK are planning a system outage to undertake essential maintenance, during which time the service will be unavailable.

In an effort to keep any possible disruption to a minimum, work is scheduled to begin at 12:00 am (GMT) Sunday, 15 March, 2015. The maintenance will take several hours to complete. Full service is expected to be restored by 6:00 am (GMT) Sunday, 15 March, 2015.

Although Westlaw UK has planned this system outage during a typical period of low usage, they would like to apologise for the inconvenience this may cause to users.

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

 

New Tip of the Day Service

TipWe are delighted to introduce a new service to help you make the most of the resources and services at Taylor Library. The ‘Tip of the Day’ service will be launched before the start of the next exam period.

From the middle of April, we will deliver useful tips to you regarding:

  • Library services
  • Legal databases
  • Other online resources (e-books, e-journals)
  • Official publications
  • Technical support
  • And much, much more…

We hope you will find this daily service advantageous for your study and research.

 

Taylor Library& EDC Team
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk