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Westlaw: How to use Westlaw

How to access the Westlaw database service and use it to find: case law, legislation, journal articles and more. This also includes information about how to access international materials on Westlaw.

Westlaw International Materials

Westlaw’s International Materials (Thomson Reuters Westlaw) contains a wide range of sources not available from the Westlaw UK welcome screen. The majority of non-UK sources are from the United States but material is available from other jurisdictions. Content includes:

  • United States: Federal and State legislation and case law, journals/law reviews, and other secondary materials.
  • Canada: Federal and Provincial legislation and case law, journals/law reviews, and other secondary materials.
  • Australia: Federal and State/Territory case law, journals, and other secondary materials.
  • International Law: Content includes case law from the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Tribunals and materials from organisations including WTO / GATT, WIPO, UNICIRAL, and NAFTA.

Access to Westlaw International Materials


Screenshot of links to Westlaw International and Westlaw US

To access material from non-UK jurisdictions on the 'Westlaw Edge UK' homepage under 'More Resources' select either:

  • Westlaw International (for materials from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and other jurisdictions); or
  • Westlaw US (for materials relating to  federal and state jurisdictions)

The service opens in a new window / tab.


Browsing for a source in Westlaw International Materials

The Westlaw International welcome page displays sources grouped by jurisdiction (Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, etc.) or content type (Cases, Legislation, Journals, etc.). To browse through these and select a source to search, select the appropriate heading and sub-headings until you find the source you wish to search.

To access US material, under 'RELATED LEGAL', select the ‘U.S. Materials’ link.

Example: Searching for an article in a US legal periodical

To search for an article in a US legal periodical:

  • Select ‘U.S. Materials’, link in the right of the screen.
  • Select ‘Secondary Sources’ (in the 'All Content' tab).
  • Under the ‘By Type’ heading, select ‘Law Reviews & Journals’.
  • To search across all US journals on Westlaw  enter terms in the search box at the top of the screen. Select the search (orange ‘magnifying glass') button to display results.
  • To search in a specific US journal, select appropriate filters in the left of the screen (e.g. ‘National’, ‘Federal’ or specific state or topic), then select the title (e.g. ‘Journal of Law and Technology’). This will take you to the search screen where you can search as above.

N.B. In full-text databases be specific in your choice of search terms, use proximity or field operators rather than AND connectors.

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