Law subject resources – Public Information Online


© UK Parliament

Every law student knows the law databases very well. We do not need to introduce Westlaw, Lexis Library or HeinOnline to you. But, did you know that there are other useful databases which can help your studies and research? One of them is Public Information Online (PIO).

PIO is a full text database which provides access to Parliamentary publications from the Westminster Parliament, Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly, National Assembly for Wales and Scottish Government. It also contains Non-Parliamentary material.

You can find all kinds of official publications through the database whether you want to track a Bill, read a debate in Hansard, find a Command Paper or read an overview of an Act. PIO allows you to see any UK Act dating back to 1988 and it’s amending Statutory Instruments.

One of PIO’s best known features is a directory, Civil Service Yearbook for detailed information on the structure, department and key personnel of the Civil Service of all central and devolved governments.

Online access to PIO database is available through Primo. Please login to Primo at the top right corner of the screen first, then on Primo Advanced Search, click on the ‘Find Databases‘ tab, and select letter ‘P‘ for Public Information Online.  If you are working from home, and you were presented with an authentication page, simple login with your university username and password, and start your search.

For more information, please read our Official Publications library guide or visit us in the Taylor Library.

Taylor Library Team

Tip of the Day: Public Information Online

Did you know that you are able to cross search UK parliaments via Public Information Online (PIO)?

The database gives you access to the most comprehensive collection of Parliamentary Papers from the UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly and National Assembly for Wales.

PIO also provides many Scottish Government publications and key Non Parliamentary Papers. When you are searching for current legislation please be aware that you might not find the most recent version of the acts there.

To get access to the database, please follow the steps below:

  • Visit the library home page
  • Use the quick search box of Primo
  • Type ‘Public Information Online’ in the search box and press ‘Enter’
  • Select the database from the result screen by clicking on the ‘View Online’ tab.

For further information, check our Library Guide on Official Publications Collection.

Taylor Library Team

Law School lecturer Malcolm Combe article on Scottish Land Reform in The Conversation

Inveraray castle

Inveraray Castle. © Copyright Englishpointers and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Malcolm Combe, of the University of Aberdeen’s School of Law, was recently published in The Conversation, on the subject of the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill. The article addresses concerns that the bill, if passed, would enable the Scottish government to force land owners in to selling, under certain conditions. The Duke of Argyll, owner of Inveraray Castle and estate, is one of those concerned about the implications of the bill.

Malcolm was an adviser to the Land Reform Review Group, and chair of a recent discussion event on the subject here at the University of Aberdeen.

You can track the progress of the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill on the Scottish Parliament website.

Have a look at Malcolm’s other publications on his staff profile, and also, check out his blog!

The State Opening of Parliament

State opening parly2015

The opening ceremony for the 2015 Parliament © Copyright ukhouseoflords and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The State Opening of Parliament took place on the 27th of May. This is the formal ceremony, full of pageantry, signifying the start of the new parliamentary session.

The Queen delivered a speech, in the House of Lords, setting out the priorities of the new government and listing many of the Bills which the Government hopes will become law during this session. These include the ‘European Union Referendum Bill’ and the ‘Scotland Bill’.

The progress of Bills can be followed on the Bill Tracker section of Public Information Online. This database, available to UoA staff and students, can be accessed through Primo. Off campus UoA users will be prompted to log in via Shibboleth.

A good guide on how Bills progress through Parliament is available on the Parliament website.