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Social Sciences: Legal & Official information

A collection of information resources and guidance for Social Sciences students

Useful law books for the social sciences

Legal & official information for social science

The scales of justice

Your university provides access to high-quality sources of legal and official information.

This is significant, as accuracy is extremely important for this subject area.

Remember also to make sure that any legal or official information you look at is up-to-date and relevant to the UK.

Law resources through your university

A gavel

The two most useful sources for UK legal information available through the libraries are LexisLibrary and Westlaw. Both available from all 3 Universities at Medway. To access them, you will need to go through your university's A-Z of databases and e-resources.

  • LexisLibrary

    Provides access to some of the most important sources for law in this country, such as Halsbury’s Laws of England and the All England Law Reports, as well as a large amount of case law and legislation.

  • Westlaw UK

    A large database of law sources including legal journals, business information, news, legislation and case law.

Other sources:

  • HeinOnline (available via Greenwich, Kent and CCCU).

    Has a focus on international constitutional law, but also provides access to some legal journals.

  • JustisOne (available via Greenwich, Kent and CCCU)

    Provides a legal search engine, with a focus on legislation and case law around the world.

  • Lawtel (available via Greenwich)

    Access to UK case law from the 1980s to the present.

  • Public Information Online (available via Kent)

    Provides searchable access to all publications from the UK parliament from 2006 onwards.

Web sources for law

  • Legislation.gov.uk is the source for all UK legislation and is the best place to check the details of specific acts of parliament and related documents.

  • If you want further information about UK law the University of Kent provide a very useful website called LawLinks. If you are not a Kent student you will not be able to look at anything that is a subscription database. You will identify these as you will be directed to the Kent IT login screen.

  • LawLinks has a variety of resources and provides access to the Electronic Law Library. Here you will find a comprehensive list of legal databases.

Official information sources

  • European Sources Online: An excellent site covering official sources of information as well as media reports relating to Europe (not just the EU).

  • Mass Observation Online (available via University of Kent): An archive of British Social History. The Archive holds all the material generated by Mass Observation between 1937 and 1949, with a few later additions from the 1950s and 1960s. Many of these are personal papers: diaries, letters, scrapbooks and albums of various kinds.

  • UK Official Publications (UKOP) (available via University of Kent): The official catalogue of UK official publications since 1980. This contains hundreds of thousands of records from over 2000 public bodies, it is the most comprehensive source of information on official publications available.

UK government web pages

Current:

  • GOV.UK: Central and local government departments and agencies and non-governmental organisations. The site also includes a Newsroom page, with links to recent publications.

  • HM Government Data: Access to a wealth of data covering topics such as education, health, crime & environment.

  • House of Commons Publications: Includes links to House of Lords publications, research publications, Hansard and Parliamentary archives.

  • Legislation.gov.uk: This website is managed by The National Archives on behalf of HM Government and publishes all UK legislation.

  • Today in the Commons (Links to Official Hansard Report): provides the report of today's proceedings in the Commons Chamber, Westminster Hall, Written Ministerial Statements, Public Bill and General Committe Debates and Today in the Lords. The Hansard Official Report is an edited record of what was said in Parliament. It also includes votes and written answers to parliamentary questions. The report is published daily covering the preceding day, and is followed by weekly and final versions.

Historical: