General Guide
A good guide that explains how to find relevant European law and legal materials is :

Knowles, J Effective legal research 3rd edn. 340.072 KNO

How to find European Union founding treaties and secondary legislation

Use EUR-Lex for the Treaties, regulations, directives and decisions of the European Union

There are also the legal databases that include coverage of EU primary and secondary legislation.

Lexis Library - coverage of treaties, secondary legislation, preparatory documents

Westlaw UK - coverage of treaties, secondary legislation, preparatory documents

How to find EU Case Law

A typical citation to an ECJ case looks like the following:

Case C-132/92 Walls v Friedel M Robert [1993] ECR I-5579

The various elements of the citation mean:

C =ECJ case
132 = case number
92 = year it was added to the Register
Walls v Friedel M Robert = names of the parties
1993 = year of the decision/publication
ECR = where the text can be found (European Court Reports)
I-5579 = Section I starting on page 5579
If you do not know the meaning of the abbreviated citation i.e. ECR, then you can use the the Cardiff Index to Legal abbreviations

How to find printed sources of EU case law
The text of cases will be found in the Report of cases before the Court, which are known as the European Court Reports (ECR). These are shelved with the Law Reports on Level 5 of the Library. ECJ cases are reported in Section I, those from the CFI in Section II. Cases are published in the Reports according to the year in which the judgement was given, so an issue will contain decision on cases registered in different years.

Common Market Law Reports (CMLR) also provide texts of judgement's and opinions. These are also shelved with the Law Reports on Level 5.

How to find electronic sources of EU case law

EUR-Lex: Free database for EU case law. Coverage form 1954.

Curia :Free database for EU case law since June 1997.

Lexis Library: European Court of Justice cases from 1954, General Court, Civil Service Tribunal, European Court of Human Rights Cases, All England Law Reports: European Cases

Westlaw UK:  European Court of Justice cases from 1954, General Court, Civil Service Tribunal, Includes the official case law reports as included in the ECR. Common Market Law Reports, Environmental Law Reports, European Human Rights Law Reports, European Patent Office Reports, European Commercial Cases, European Trade Mark Reports.

How to find printed journals in the Library on Europe

The printed law  journals are arranged alphabetically by title and are shelved with the Law Collection on Level 5. Principal European law journals held in the Library are: Common market law review, European law review and Yearbook of European law.

It should be easy to find a particular journal article if you have the full reference. There are several ways of citing journals but a typical citation would be:

T Tridimas,'The court of justice and judicial activism' (1996) 21 EL Rev 199

Use the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations to find out the full meaning of the abbreviation if necessary
SurreySearch will show if the journal is online or in print or both
Locate on Level 5 in the Law Collection.

How to find electronic law journals on Europe

To find which journals are available electronically you can use SurreySearch search box or the Journal Title A-Z link at the top of SurreySearch
Use the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations to find out the full meaning of the abbreviation if necessary.

Most of the law electronic journals will link through to the 2 key databases:

Lexis Library
Westlaw UK

How to find journal articles about EU law

There are many sources for finding out legal journal articles by subject (European Union)

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals - available on HeinOnline

Legal Journals Index - available via Westlaw UK (use the journals menu not the EU menu)

European Commission Find-eR: European Commission's Library and resources search tool - Free resource. Provides details of books and articles on Europe.

Please note that the majority of our online legal resources are available to current University of Surrey staff and students only.


Council of the European Union 

Council of Europe

European Commission

European Parliament

European Court of Justice and General Court

European Information Association

European Court of Human Rights


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