Finding case law in Westlaw UK

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Westlaw UK is a legal research platform that provides access to UK case law, legislation, news, law journals, commentaries, and EU legal materials. This blog post will focus on case law, and especially one of the handy research tools in Westlaw UK: the Precedent map.

Finding cases
Start searching a case by entering a citation or keywords in the search box on Westlaw UK’s homepage. Alternatively, you can select Cases > Cases Search from the menu at the top for a more advanced search. Once you have found a relevant case, click on the title or Case Analysis to go to the Case Digest.

Case Digest
The Case Digest contains a summary of the case with an overview of the judge's reasoning and factual context. Other useful information on this page includes:

  • Status icon: indicates the judicial treatment of this case in later cases (positive, negative, neutral of mixed)
  • Where reported: a list of all case report series that have reported this case
  • Primary references: overview of related legislation and cases
  • Commentary references: links to relevant books, journal articles, and topic overviews

In the menu on the left, you will also find the link to the Precedent map.

Precedent map
The Precedent map allows you to see the relationship between cases and helps to find other relevant cases. Based on the case that you just opened, the map provides a graphical view of cases that are cited (to the left) and cases that cite this source case (to the right).

Each coloured bubble represents a case. The colour indicates the status; key cases are highlighted by a darker border. The size of the bubble shows how many times a case has been subsequently cited. Click on a bubble to view more information about the case.

More information
Learn more about the Precedent map by watching Westlaw UK's video tutorial. There is also a tutorial on How to find, access and analyse case law content on Westlaw UK.

For more general information about Westlaw UK, read our previous blog post or refer to the Westlaw UK User’s Guide.