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  1. 1. Case Law Using Westlaw Catherine Funnell Middlesex University
  2. 2. Databases-Quick Facts Heinonline • English Reports(pre 1865 cases) only • Available on the Internet Westlaw and Lexis Library • Access to legislation case law, journal articles • Also current awareness(status updates legislation and cases) • EU legislation,cases,journal articles
  3. 3. Westlaw • UK cases from 1220,including The Law Reports • European Union case from 1954(Judgments from the Court of Justice from 1954,the General Court from1989 • UK case law Official Transcripts • Case Analysis(Descriptive Analysis document for UK,Scottish and EU case law)
  4. 4. Accessing Westlaw • Log in to My UniHub • Select the My study tab • Scroll down the page to find My Library • Click on Library Subject Guides • Select the Law and Legal Research Guide • Select the Resources tab • Scroll down to the Gateways to Legal Resources sub tab • Select Westlaw You can search for Case Law by Citation Party Names Subject Go to the next slide to find a case By Citation
  5. 5. Reading a Legal Citation [1960] 3 WLR 919 Date-Year case was reported Law Report Series where it was reported Volume of Law Report Series Page in Law Report Volume This is a legal citation for a case You need to know what each part of the citation represents Click on the Cases tab
  6. 6. Finding the Case Fisher v Bell is the case Let’s take a CLOSER look CITATION
  7. 7. Understanding the Detail Party names,court case reported in and date case heard What area of law?(criminal) Case Descriptors(offensive weapons,sale of goods Where reported?-what law report series report this case-where can I find the details,full text? Documents- full text reported in these law report series found in Westlaw Click on CASE ANALYSIS next
  8. 8. Case Analysis •Useful as a case alerter if you are : •tracking a case(another case has been heard between the same parties on a different point of law) •The case has been cited by another case •The case has been referenced in a journal article •Case Digest-SUMMARY of the case •Case Digest-where you can find the JUDGMENT/DECISION Click on the CITATION for the Full Text
  9. 9. Status Icons Positive or Neutral indicates that this is GOOD LAW Status Icons are important as you need to be aware of the status of a specific case If you click on the HELP Button and then select About Case law from the Index you can see what the various icons look like and what they mean
  10. 10. PDF To view/and/or save the PDF click on the PDF Icon Go to the next slide to find a case using Party Names
  11. 11. Party Names It’s easy to find a case by Party Names Just type the names in the party names Box! Go to the next slide to see the results
  12. 12. Which one do I choose? Torts!! Negligence!! Click on the Citation
  13. 13. Donoghue v Stevenson The famous case about a snail, ginger beer and NEGLIGENT shopkeeper Let’s find cases on a specific subject
  14. 14. Subject Searching This is a great many results so you might wish to add another subject keyword to futher limit the results in the EDIT Box Enclose a phrase in speech marks “ “ To add another keyword curfew Type AND in upper case Click to see results from adding another subject keyword
  15. 15. Limiting/Narrowing Search Results Added keyword sentencing Still fewer results after adding the word sentencing
  16. 16. Recap-Subject Searching • In the Free Text Box type in the subject keywords you have chosen • Enclose phrases in “speech marks” • When adding another keyword with the phrase type AND in upper case letters • To limit the results further, narrowing your subject results more specifically, you can type another word in the EDIT BOX on the results page
  17. 17. Keywords in Context You can see the number of times the keywords you selected appear in some of the text of the case and the context in which they appear as well
  18. 18. Searching Law Reports and Transcripts You can also search the individual Law Report series by date to locate a specific case or search by subject This isn’t particularly efficient but you may wish to BROWSE them Go to the next slide to see how to do this
  19. 19. Browsing By Law Report Series We’ll use Weekly Law Reports as our example Go to the next slide to see the results
  20. 20. Browsing(Law Report Series) Status Icon Party Names Case Analysis Full Text of case Court Transcript