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Case Law: How to find and use case law: Authoritative reports - the 'best' report

What is case law? Where can you find Scottish and English case law? How can you check the status of case law?

Authoritative reports

Although there are no 'official' reports in Scotland or in England and Wales, some series are regarded as being authoritative and should be cited in preference to others when a report is available for a case.

In Scotland the series regarded as authoritative and which should be cited in court or in academic work are the Session Cases and Justiciary Cases. (Should reports not be available in those series then Scots Law Times, Scottish Civil Law Reports or Scottish Criminal Case Reports, then other series, may be cited.)

In England and Wales the series regarded as authoritative and which should be cited in court or in academic work are those published by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR) - AC, Ch, Fam,QB. Should reports not be available in those series then All England Law Reports (All ER) , then other series, may be cited.)

Authoritative reports - OSCOLA

Scotland
'Refer to Session Cases [including Justiciary Cases, SC or JC] if possible. The next most authoritative series of law reports is the Scots Law Times (SLT), which is also arranged in separately paginated sequences of reports from different courts . With the exception of reports from the superior courts, the section is indicated in brackets following the abbreviation SLT. Other law reports series in Scotland include the Scottish Civil Law Reports (SCLR) and the Scottish Criminal Case Reports (SCCR).'
(page 22)
England and Wales

'If a case is reported in the [ICLR] Law Reports, this report should generally be cited in preference to any other report . If a judgment is not reported in the Law Reports, cite the Weekly Law Reports or the All England Law Reports. Only if a judgment is not reported in one of these general series should you refer to a specialist series, such as the Lloyd’s Law Reports or the Family Law Reports.'

(page 17)

Authoritative reports - guidance from courts

Online sources of case law

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