Western Libraries

United Kingdom Legal Research

John & Dotsa Bitove Family Law Library

Legal Citation

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations

This database allows you to search for the meaning of abbreviations for English language legal publications, from the British Isles, the Commonwealth and the United States, including those covering international and comparative law.

UK Legislative Research

The laws of the United Kingdom are created in Parliament (plus the Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales).

If you are not familiar with researching English statute law, you may want to start with secondary sources such as Halsbury’s Laws of England, which is organized by legal topic, as well as textbooks found in the library catalogue. These will outline the relevant legislation that you should be looking at.

Early English Statutes

Statutes at Large

The Law Library carries the collection of annual statutes by Danby Pickering, published by Cambridge and covering Magna Carta until 1869.  Justis carries the “Ruffhead” edition of the Statutes at Large up to 1866.

Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum 1642-1660

KD129 1642 .G75

Edited by C H Firth and R S Rait. The full text of legislation passed into law during the Interregnum (“between reigns” when England was under parliamentary rule).

Statutes of the Realm

KD130 1215.G745 1810a
This is a 12-volume set available on Microfilm
Coverage is from the magna carta to the end of the reign of Queen Anne. The text is in English and Latin.

Modern English Statutes

Public General Acts

II Geo. IV & Will. IV. 1830-
The official version of the UK statutes. They are published in chronological order and are unconsolidated.

Halsbury's Statutes of England and Wales

4th edition, 1985
KD135 .H356
Individual volumes updated by reissues. This is the best place to start with statutory research. It contains the full text of the statutes, annotated with legislative history, judicial consideration, and references to related legislation.

Volumes within Halsbury’s
Table of Statutes - look up statute by name and be directed to volume in main set
General Index - organized by subject - will direct you to volumes in main set
Cumulative Supplement - changes for current year
Noter-up Service - more current than supplement (looseleaf)
Current Statutes Service (looseleaf) text of statutes not in main set yet
Destination Table - shows where Acts have been consolidated
In Force - in force information since Jan. 1, 1972

Halsbury’s Statutory Instruments

Covers Statutory Instruments in force for England and Wales. Selected Statutory Instruments appear in full-text, many are summarised with annotations. The set is current to 2016.

Legislation Citators & Citation Style

Current Law Legislation Citator

KD296 .C852
Published by Sweet & Maxwell, the citator notes all repeals, amendments and commencement dates of legislation as well as listing cases which have applied legislation in court. It is divided into 7 chronological volumes and soft-cover supplements.


Regnal Years

Prior to 1963, English statutes were cited by name, regnal year (the year of the sovereign’s reign spanned by the parliamentary session in which the statute was passed), and chapter

National Services Act, 11 & 12 Geo. 6, c. 64

This method of citation was changed by the Acts of Parliament Numbering and Citation Act, 1962. Now citation is by short name and calendar year. The short name is mentioned in the Act.

Companies Act (U.K.), 1980, c. 22