Highlighted Resource: Justis and JustCite
January 29, 2014
Written by Gabriela Femenia, Foreign and International Law Librarian
Justis and JustCite are two complementary and easy-to-use databases for researching the law of the United Kingdom. Justis, a full-text database, allows for searching the case law, statutory and regulatory law of the United Kingdom, and also offers coverage of Ireland, the European Union, parts of the Caribbean, and Singapore. JustCite is a citator tool, like Shepard’s or KeyCite for U.S. law, and is similarly used to determine whether a case is still good law, find later decisions citing back to a particular case, and find cases referring to a statute or statutory instrument (the U.K. equivalent of regulations). Both can be accessed by Penn Law users through Biddle’s E-Resources list.
Justis can be searched by keyword, citation, subject, party, and a number of other factors, and Boolean search operators can be used for greater accuracy. If you are looking for a specific type of material, such as cases or legislation, begin by clicking the appropriate tab to restrict your search.
You can also use the “Data Sources” tool to the right of the main search box, checking only those jurisdictions or specific publications you need.
Once you have selected a case from your search results, you will find that many cases in Justis are available in PDF in official judgment format or from a commercial case reporter. The Overview & Citations feature of case view provides the procedural history of the case, information on cases cited within it, and subsequent citations to the case.
For even more information on the case, click on the “Go to JustCite” link, which gives you access to additional features like the precedent map of both cases cited and later cases.
Because it provides parallel citations and links for everywhere a specific case can be found, JustCite can also be used on its own as a tool to locate a case in the many print reporters Biddle subscribes to, free sources like the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) or court websites, or information about its availability in other databases for U.K. law. In addition to the jurisdictions covered in full text in Justis, JustCite also covers the case law of Canada, Australia, Malaysia, and much of the Commonwealth, greatly expanding its usefulness for this purpose.
Beyond Justis and JustCite, Biddle offers access to a full range of tools for U.K. legal research. For example, Lexis and Westlaw both have strong content for the United Kingdom, and HeinOnline has excellent coverage of U.K. historical material. The library also subscribes to many U.K. case reporters, statutory publications, and secondary sources in print. A lot of U.K. information is freely available on the internet as well, through government sites like legislation.gov.uk and open-access initiatives like BAILII.
For individual assistance with Justis and JustCite, or for guidance on how to research your specific U.K. legal questions, email Gabriela Femenia, Foreign and International Law Librarian, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by Tanenbaum 412.