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English Law Reports Research Guide

Year Books Pre 1537

The Year Books are the earliest law reports of England.  

Abridgements of the Year Books pre 1537 contain complete statements of the law as it was known at the time.

The first abridgement was made by Nicholas Statham. Statham’s Abridgment is available to view in the Supreme Court Library and online (translated and scanned).

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Nominate Reports (1537) - (1865)

Published privately under the name of the reporter (eg. Coke's Reports, Simons, Beavan, etc.). There are references to these cases in judgments. There are authorised and non-authorised reports available via:

  • Hardcopy in the Supreme Court Library
  • Online via a subscription to HeinOnline* in English Law Reports (pre 1965)

Many of the Nominate Reports have been compiled and reprinted. The preferred reprint is the English Reports (ER) available via:

  • Hardcopy in the Supreme Court Library
  • Online via CommonLII (free access) and via a subscription to HeinOnline*
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English Law Reports (1866) - Current

ICLR (Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales) 

The Official Law Reports are published by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales (ICLR) and are the authorised reports.

Originally divided into eleven series. The current titles are Appeal Cases (AC), Queen's Bench (QB), Chancery Division (Ch.D) and Family (Fam) and available via:

  • Hardcopy in the Supreme Court Library
  • Online via a subscription to ICLR*

WLR (Weekly Law Reports)

Where a judgment has not (or not yet) been reported in the ICLR’s, it can be reported in the Weekly Law Reports (W.L.R.) covering what the ICLR describe as "the cases that really matter, which either develop the law in some way or introduce a new point of law" and available via:

  • Hardcopy in the Supreme Court Library
  • Online via a subscription to ICLR*

All ER (All England Law Reports)

Published from 1936 and then included older cases in a historic reprint series. These are the most widely cited report series for recent cases however they are not corrected by judges and do not contain counsels arguments. These are available via:

  • Hardcopy in the Supreme Court Library
  • Online via a subscription to Lexis Advance*

* Subscription required.

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