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The decisions of judges in court cases are a primary source of law. Printed series of law reports record some of these decisions; law reports are also available on Westlaw and LexisLibrary. The most authoritative series is The Law Reports; another series with wide coverage is the All England Reports.
Case Law in action
The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR) began publishing The Law Reports in 1865. The Law Reports are the most authoritative series of law reports and should always be cited in Court in preference to any other law report series.
This short film produced by the ICLR highlights why it is important to use the most authoritative law report.
Watch this short film from the ICLR to find out how legal professionals find case law.
This short film follows one of the legal reporters for the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting as he attends court and prepares the report of a case for publication in print and on the Internet.
UK Case Law - Information Portals
Halsbury's Laws of England (via Lexis) This link opens in a new windowHalsbury's Laws of England provides the only comprehensive narrative statement of the law of England and Wales. It covers every proposition of English law (whether statutory or common law), and is divided into alphabetically arranged titles. The text of those titles is supplemented by regularly updated annotations: all primary and secondary legislation, all leading law reports, and many specialist series of case reports are monitored for developments which affect the law set out in Halsbury's Laws.
Finding cases in the Law Reference Collection
Fisher v Bell  3 WLR 919
To find this particular case in the Law Reference Collection, you need to:
- Find out what the abbreviation of the law report title stands for. You can use the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations. In this instance, the abbreviation of the law report title is W.L.R which stands for the Weekly Law Reports.
- To find the Weekly Law Reports on the Library shelves you will need to go to the 3rd floor of the Library and locate the Law Reference Collection. Law reports are kept in alphabetical order by title in the section of the Law Reference Collection so this title will be shelved under ’340 WEE’.
- Find the year 1960, and volume 3 for that year. Look at page number 919. You should see the case Fisher v Bell.