Research resource of the month: Westlaw UK

This month we are focusing on Westlaw UK, which is one of the major legal databases we subscribe to at City.  It is a great resource for researching UK and EU case law and legislation, and for reading legal journal articles and selected practitioner texts.

Here are some key benefits and highlights:

  • Westlaw Insight (available from the Insight tab at the top left of the Westlaw UK screen) is a useful place to start when researching an unfamiliar area of law. It is a legal encyclopaedia which has articles on a broad range of UK legal topics. So if you need the lowdown on such diverse subjects as fracking, internet trolling or food labelling, then Westlaw Insight is a good place to get started!
  • Westlaw UK offers a ‘Case Analysis’ feature which enables you to carry out more detailed research around a particular court case, for example to find out about related cases and to discover relevant journal articles. The ‘Legislation Analysis’ feature works in a similar way in order to provide you with extra information about Acts of Parliament.
  • Another benefit of using Westlaw UK for your legal research is that it contains the Westlaw Legal Journals Index. This means that when you search Westlaw for journal articles, you are able to search through hundreds of English language legal journals published in the UK or Europe. You might sometimes find an abstract of an article rather than the full-text article, in which case just check on CityLibrary Search whether we have full-text access to the journal in question through another database.
  • Westlaw UK doesn’t just offer UK and EU legal materials: it also contains an ‘International Materials’ section (available from the Services tab at the top of the screen) which gives access to primary legal materials, journal articles and books from many other countries. In particular, there is a wealth of US legal information available through ‘International Materials’.
  • One final highlight is the ability to set up personalised searches and alerts. When logging into Westlaw UK, you will see a pop-up box entitled ‘Log in to My Westlaw UK Profile’. Click on ‘Create Profile’, and you will be able to create a personalised account. Once your account has been set up,  you can create regular alerts (based on pre-set legal topics or on your own specific searches) and have them delivered daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly into your City email account.

City staff and students who would like further help with using Westlaw UK can make an appointment with a law librarian, or can book a place on one of our upcoming Westlaw certification sessions or Westlaw drop-in session.

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