Legal databases

Legal content such as cases, legislation, and law journals can all be found from the following two key legal databases:

  • Westlaw UK  - New site
    Legislation, case law (including EU legislation and case law) and legal journals.
    Please note: you will be required to register when you login for the first time.  By doing so you are agreeing to the Terms of use.  You can view the Privacy Statement here.

  • Lexis Library
    Case law, legislation, legal journals, and access to full-text of many UK newspapers.

Finding cases

Cases can be searched separately from both Westlaw or Lexis. Select 'Cases' at the top of the screen then search by:

  • Citation eg 1996 AC 155 - this has the benefit of taking you directly to the citation you need
  • Party names eg Page v Smith
  • Keywords eg breach of contract

There is duplication across these databases, but each contain unique content.  Remember, if what you need isn't in one, try the other.

Example of a case citation

Law case

Further details on how to cite legal resources can be found in the OSCOLA guide.

Finding UK legislation

Example of a piece of legislation:

Human Rights Act 1998

Finding UK legislation

Whether using Westlaw or Lexis, choose Legislation at the top of the top of the screen then search by:

  • Name of Act eg human rights act

Finding legal journal articles

When you have a reference to an article and you wish to find the full text, search in either Weslaw or Lexis. Some content overlaps between the two databases, so if the full text cannot be found in one, remember to also search the other.

Select Journals at the top of the screen then search by:

  • Article title eg theory pure theory and values
Alternatively, if you do not have a reference and you wish to search for journal articles on your topic:
  • Enter your keywords eg gender pay gap

Search tips

  • to search for an exact phrase, contain it in "" eg "social media"
  • link keywords together using and eg "social media" and freedom

Multidisciplinary collections that include law journals

Depending on your topic, you way also want to search outside legal databases. The following provide access to a huge amount of literature, both legal and otherwise.

  • LibrarySearch
    LibrarySearch searches across most of our collections in one quick easy step.
  • SpringerLINK 
    Full-text articles from more than 2,500 journals including IIC- International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law and  China-EU Law Journal
  • Taylor & Francis Online 
    Access to over 1,100 social sciences and humanities journals including 55 law journals.
  • Wiley Online Library 
    Access to nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed journals including European Law Journal and Journal of Law and Society

Example of law journal citation

Law Journal

OSCOLA - for students studying Law

Students Studying Law modules should use OSCOLA referencing. 

Guides to OSCOLA

  • Students should read the Law Division's short guide to OSCOLA first and use this as the definitive guide to law referencing at Abertay. 
  • The complete OSCOLA guide (4th edition) is also available.
  • These guides and further advice are available from our OSCOLA page
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