Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Case Law: How to find and use case law: Where to find case law in the Library

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

Law reports (Level 5)

Law reports are located on level 5 of the Library near Archives and Special Collections. The shelves containing law reports have pink signs at the end of each row. These indicate the reports housed in each row. The different series of law reports are arranged alphabetically by series title (i.e. from Administrative Court Digest to World Court Reports).

Use SUPrimo to find which law reports we hold in print:

Key series of law reports available in the Library include:


A number of digests, containing summaries of cases, are held on level 5 of the Library – these can be located via SUPrimo:

Examples of digests include:

Textbooks and legal encyclopaedias

Textbooks and encyclopaedic works on particular areas of law will often contain references to and summaries of cases. Books can be located via SUPrimo:

Online sources of case law

Common law report abbreviations

Session Cases

This is the most authoritative series of Scottish reports. Early volumes of Session Cases are cited by a single letter abbreviation of the names of their editors.  For example:

5 S 390       (5th volume edited by Shaw page 390)

7 D 346       (7th volume edited by Dunlop page 346)

10 M 120     (10th volume edited by Macpherson page 120)

17 R 931      (17th volume edited by Rettie page 931)

4 F 297        (4th volume edited by Fraser page 297)

You will often be given a year too, but you can find the case without it.

From 1907 onwards this series is cited as SC e.g. 1995 SC 471

Within each volume of Session Cases there are now several separately numbered page sequences. Each page sequence reflects the court in which the case was heard.

For example:

SC (PC)       - Session Cases (Privy Council)

SC (HL)       - Session Cases (House of Lords)

JC                - Justiciary Cases

SC               - Session Cases

SC (UKSC)  - Session Cases (UK Supreme Court)

Remember to make sure you are looking in the correct section!

Scots Law Times

Sections in Scots Law Times also have distinct abbreviations, e.g.:

SLT                  -  Reports (from superior courts)

SLT (Sh Ct)      -  Sheriff Court reports

SLT (Land Ct)  -  Land Court reports

SLT (Land Tr)   -  Lands Tribual reports

SLT (Lyon)        -  Lyon Court reports

SLT (News)       -  News section (contains articles not cases)

Other Scottish reports

SCLR - Scottish Civil Law Reports

SCCR - Scottish Criminal Case Reports

The Law Reports (published by ICLR)

This is the most authoritative series of English reports. The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales Law Reports is comprised of several component parts, each with their individual abbreviation. For example:

AC    - Law Reports Appeal Cases                      

Ch     - Law Reports Chancery Division

Fam  - Law Reports Family Division                 

QB    - Law Reports Queens Bench Division

In the Andersonian Library these component parts are all shelved under Law Reports in the alphabetical reports sequence then alphabetically by component part.

All England Law Reports

All ER - All England Law Reports

Other abbreviations
Contact us                                Electronic Library Services                              Library Home