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United Kingdom: Access to Legislation

A research guide to legal sources in the UK.

Legislation and Parliamentary Materials

Legislation

  • Browse Legislation: UK, Legislation.Gov.UK, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/browse/uk (last visited Oct. 12, 2015). 
    • When you are looking for legislation electronically, this website is the place to start. It is the official legislative website, and it is maintained by the National Archives. It contains all types of legislation from the UK and the devolved governments. The scope of coverage depends on the type of legislation and the entity. You can browse by type of legislation. There is a general search function by title, keywords, date, and/or type of legislation. There are also a number of pieces of draft legislation.
    • Subsequent Changes: Note that changes to legislation made prior to 2002 are incorporated in the current version of the Acts. However, this may not be the case for legislation that was amended after 2002. Specifically visit this page, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/changes, where you can search for changes made to a particular act or made by a particular act.
       
  • Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum (Acts & Ords. Interregnum) (1642-1660)
    • KD 130 .1642a
  • Halsbury’s Statutes of England
    • KD 135 .H3 (1968-2012)
  • Public General Acts
    • KD 153.L3 (1920-1991) (continued from Great Britain Statutes, 1866-1919)
  • Statutes of the Realm (1235-1713)
    • KD 132 1810
    • HeinOnline
  • Statutes at Large
    • KD 130 1215.P5 (1235-1800)
  • Treaties
    • Hertslet’s Commercial Treaties (HCT)
      • HeinOnline (1840-1925)
  • Secondary Legislation
    • Halsbury’s Statutory Instruments
      • KD 173.H3 (1993)

 

Parliamentary Materials

See "Legislative History" at the bottom of the page for more information. 

Wales

Scotland

  • Legislation
    • Browse Legislation: Scotland, Legislation.Gov.UK (last visited Oct. 12, 2015).
    • The Laws of Scotland
      • KDC 150.L382 (1999)
    • Scottish Current Law Statutes
      • KDC 80 .S42  (1949-1989)
    • The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland (APS)
      • KDC76 1124 (microfilm) (1814-1844)
    • Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 (RPS), http://www.rps.ac.uk/ (last visited Oct. 12, 2015).
  • Draft legislation and other parliamentary materials: Parliamentary Business, The Scottish Parliament (last visited Oct. 12, 2015).

Northern Ireland

  • Statutes Revised, Northern Ireland (N. Ir. Rev. Stat.)
    • KDE44 (1921-1990)

 

Legislative History

Parliament.UK

Legislative materials of interest can be found on the webpage for Publications & Records of the Parliament. It contains links to Hansard, publications of the Houses, archives, and committee papers. One of the best sources for research is the Research Publications page; this page contains research papers produced by the Parliament libraries from 1996-present. This is a treasure trove of research as it gives extensive information.

 

Hansard

The Hansard web pages provide comprehensive legislative history materials and should always be consulted for researching legislation. Hansard publishes debates from the House of Commons and the House of Lords. "Commons debates can be read back until November 1988 and Lords debates until 1995-96 on the Parliament website. Hansard debates from both the Commons and Lords from 1803-2005 can be read on the Historic Hansard website." 

 

There are more ways to access legislation and parliamentary materials than listed. Some of the listed sources are the Bluebook preferred - consult Table 2. All sources listed are accessible in the library, via electronic subscription resources for students and faculty, or for free online.