Skip to Main Content

English Legal Materials

A guide to researching English cases and statutes, both current and historical.


Like the United States, England has a common law, that is, case-based, legal system.  For criminal and civil cases, lower court decisions are reviewed by the Court of Appeal and then the House of Lords.  There are also three other civil High Courts (Queen's Bench, Chancery, and Family), and criminal trials are conducted by the Crown Court. 

England also enacts statutes, which are published in both chronological order and by subject.  Statutes are typically identified by their original title and date of enactment.

Note that England does not have a written constitution.  Additionally, statutes passed by Parliament are not reviewable by courts for validity - only Parliament may change a law that it has enacted.

Research Guides