The simplest and quickest way to find good quality academic reading relevant to your lectures and assignments is to search for the online reading list using your module code. This will link you directly to eBooks and articles in eJournals as well as trustworthy websites. These lists can also be accessed via SurreyLearn.
Subject databases are online searchable collections providing access to a range of information including cases, legislation, legal journal articles and newspapers. Some databases will link to the full text for that information, others will only provide the reference.
Please click on the above heading of Databases to find a comprehensive list of our legal databases.
For help with finding primary materials like Cases and Legislation try JustCite.
Other key databases for Law are LexisLibrary, Westlaw and HeinOnline
Please note that neither Lexis Library or Westlaw UK content is fully searchable on SurreySearch and you should search separately for case law and legislation using these databases.
For European Union information try EUR-Lex or the EU menu in Westlaw UK
For International Law resources try Lexis Library, HeinOnline or Westlaw UK (select Services then International Materials)
Previous exam papers provided by your department are available and can help you prepare for your own exams when used as part of the revision process. You can search for the past papers you need by name or by module code. If you have any questions or can’t find the paper you require, your department may be able to help you.
How to find printed law journals in the Library
The printed law journals are arranged alphabetically by title and are shelved on Level 5. Principal law journals are: Cambridge Law Journal, Criminal Law Review, Current Legal Problems, Law Quarterly Review, The Modern Law Review, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Public Law.
How to find electronic law journals in the Library
1. If you are looking for a specific article
e.g. R Kerridge and G Davis, 'Reform of the legal profession: an alternative way ahead' (1999) 62 MLR 807
- Go to the Library homepage and search SurreySearch
- Enter the article title e.g. Reform of the legal profession - in the search box
- Find the article on the screen and click on the View Online tab.
2. I can't find the article using SurreySearch
- At the top of the SurreySearch screen there is a link that says Journal Title A-Z
- Enter the journal title - e.g. Modern Law Review
(use the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations if you are unsure what the abbreviation (e.g. MLR) stands for.
- Find the journal title you are looking for in the list
- Select the database that covers the correct year for your article e.g. 1999
- Then navigate to the article using the year, volume number and page numbers
If you can't find the article you need in fulltext while using SurreySearch or the Journal Title A-Z search then please request the article via the Inter library Loan service.
How to find journal articles on a particular topic
For in-depth legal research you should:
1. Search SurreySearch with your subject keywords for journal article content - refine your results using the filters on the right
2. Then also search directly relevant databases listed in the Law Databases list. For instance the Legal Journals Index via Westlaw UK, HeinOnline, Criminal Justice Abstracts. For international or foreign jurisdictions try International Materials on Westlaw UK (under the Services tab) or Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals.
The other major online sources for tracing articles of a non-legal nature are:
Web of Science- a broad index to articles in the Social Sciences covering socio-legal subjects, criminology etc
IBSS - International Bibliography of the Social Sciences - this is an index to a broad range of international publications in the fields of economics, sociology, political science and anthropology
JSTOR Arts & Science Collections - provides a collection of full-text journals from the Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities.
ZETOC - provides access to the British Library's vast index of journals and conference proceedings and allows you to set up an email alert of your selected journal contents pages.
Useful web links
You may wish to search the catalogues of other libraries:
British Library of Political and Economic Science: one of the largest libraries in the world devoted to the economic and social sciences.
COPAC: searches the major university research libraries in the UK in one catalogue
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library - access to the Library catalogue and Research Guides
If you want to use another library, ask about access at the AskMe Desk.
Other Web Links
Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council - a permanent standing body charged with monitoring the constitution and working of all tribunals and inquiries in Great Britain.
Cabinet Office - information on government, including ministries and the Civil Service
Directgov - a wide range of government information
Judiciary of England and Wales -details about the judiciary service
Law Commission - keeps the law under review and recommends reform where it is needed
Ministry of Justice - information on the administration of justice. A good gateway to other legal sites.
Privy Council Office- includes description of the functions and jurisdiction of the Privy Council as well as links to judgments
London Gazette -official news and legal statutory notices. Searchable backfile from 1752 to date
Official Documents- is the official reference facility for Command and departmentally sponsored House of Commons Papers. All Command Papers and House of Commons Papers published from May 2005 onwards, as well as key Departmental papers, are available for free on the site in PDF format
The Stationery Office (TSO) - includes a searchable database of all the Stationery Office's current print titles
The National Archives- The National Archives is preserving government information published on the web by archiving UK Central Government Websites
Bills -bills before Parliament
Hansard - full text Hansard from1803-2005
House of Commons - including Hansard
House of Lords - including Hansard
International Law - guides and resources
International Legal Research Tutorial - follow this online tutorial about international legal research which provides tips of resources to use.
ASIL - American Society of International Law, information on the teaching, theory and practice of international law.
EISIL - Electronic Information System for International Law. A major research tool for international law. This database has detailed subject breakdown and access to primary documents and secondary materials. It has been developed by the American Society for International Law
GlobaLex - section on international law research which has 20+ guides to specific topics of current interestStudies, research guides by jurisdiction
International Law - the United Nations International Law page
International Law Library - includes decisions, treaties and agreements available on WorldLII
Treaties - This ASIL guide gives you some guidance on how to go about treaty research, using electronic resources
WorldLII- World Legal Information Institute, free, independent access to worldwide law