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Law (HE): Legal Commentary

Legal Commentary

Legal Commentary services are used by practitioners and academics when they need a comprehensive overview of a particular area of law, along with the key cases and legislation that relate to their topic. 

Using Westlaw Topics

You can browse content by Topic to find useful introductions and key materials for areas of law such as Contract Law, Criminal Law or Land Law. You can find Topic pages by using the Search Box on the Home Page, and selecting your topic in the drop down list, or you can browse Topic content from the links on the home page.  

Using LexisLibrary Commentary

You can access Commentary on Lexis®Library by clicking on the Commentary tab in the top menu bar. Commentary includes Halsbury's Annotations which provide background to pieces of legislation, and also comment on changes brought about by new cases or legislation; specialist practitioner texts such as Family Court Practice (Red) Book, and specialist newsletters.


Legal Dictionaries

Use legal dictionaries to clarify terms, and see how they are used in a legal context.  Dictionaries also often provide related concepts and keywords, and references to key cases and legislation. LexisLibrary offers access to Words and Phrases Legally Defined, an anthology of selected judicial and statutory phrases which include extracts of judgements and explanatory notes.  Westlaw's Index of Legal Terms searches across Stroud's Judicial Dictionary of Words and Phrases, Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law, and Osborn's Concise Law Dictionary. You can search from the home page.  


Practitioner texts

Practitioner texts are the kind of materials that practitioners such as solicitors and barristers consult in order to help their clients.  They provide up-to-date information on the state of the law in a particular area, and provide guidance on how to apply law to an issue or problem. They also advise on procedure.  

Key texts include:

The White Book (Westlaw) - This contains the sources of law relating to the practice and procedures of the High Court and the County Court for the handling of civil litigation, subject to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).

Family Court Practice Book (LexisLibrary) This gives short, easy to understand introductions to the main statutes such as the Children Act 1989 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004.  At the beginning of the act is a summary of the act with reference to related legislation and links to key cases. Key issues are identified, and there is also commentary on some of the important sections.  It is good to use if you want a simple explanation and background of a statute.  You can also find procedural guides which give practical advice on how to interpret the rules which govern procedure in court, and the legal background to the rules. The Practice book also includes the latest case-law on a topic.

Butterworth’s Personal Injury Litigation Service (LexisLibrary)  BPILS is used by personal injury professionals for its practical and comprehensive coverage of personal injury litigation. It offers guidance on a whole range of topics, from motor insurance, medical negligence and industrial accidents to catastrophic injury cases, limitation, costs and practice and procedure. It also incorporates an introductory chapter on PI litigation in the EU.  Practical advice shows clearly how the law applies in a whole range of situations.

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