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Law: Finding Legislation

Mae'r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg

Finding Legislation

The Law Library holds legislation from the middle ages to the present day. The oldest piece of legislation still in force is the Statute of Marlborough enacted in 1267. You can see it in paper copy in the library or online anywhere in the world at any time accessing out online databases. As well as current versions of legislation you can also see repealed historical versions of laws which might be vital for your study and research. You will also be able to trace the progress of Bills as they progress through Parliament on their way to possibly becoming law.

Searching for Legislation

In the databases listed alongside you can search for legislation by title, subject or keyword. Primary Legislation usually takes the form of a Public General Act passed by Parliament but Private Acts and Local and Personal Acts do also exist. (Various other Orders and Measures may be considered Primary Legislation). Secondary Legislation sometimes also called Delegated Legislation usually takes the form of Statutory Instruments and can come in the form of Orders, Rules or Regulations.

Here are some examples of Acts and Statutory Instruments (SI's) cited in the OSCOLA referencing style..

If you wanted to  read the Human Rights Act 1998 you could login to Westlaw and search for it.


Always take care to ensure that the version you are looking at in force or may have been repealed or amended


Law Library Map - legislation in red box

UK legislation online

Legislation in print in the library

  • Public General Acts and Measures (to present day)
  • The statutes of the realm, from Magna Carta to Queen Anne (1215 -1713)
  • Statutes Revised - (1235-1948)
  • Law Reports Statutes (1866- 1939)
  • Chitty Annual Statutes  (1889 -1948)
  • Chronological Table of Statutes (1235 -1991)

International Legislation

International Case Law from many jurisdictions is also available in paper and electronic versions. Some major sources are listed below.

International Cases (Access from Westlaw UK - Choose Services - International Materials)

Click Sources - then choose Country