Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

United Kingdom Legal Research Guide

This in-depth guide will help researchers navigate legal materials for the United Kingdom.


The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government comprised of four constituent nations: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

The Georgetown Law Library's extensive collection of UK legal materials is located on the fifth floor of the Williams Library.  All of these materials have call numbers that begin with the letters KD.

This guide to UK law focuses on current legal research.  For information about the UK's withdrawal from the European Union and its implications, visit the Brexit section of this guide.  For assistance with historical research, consult the Law Library's guides to English Legal History and Scottish Legal History

Key Resources for UK Legal Research

    This free database, maintained by the U.K.'s National Archives, includes both primary and secondary legislation for the U.K. as a whole, as well as legislation applicable ony in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 

  • ICLR Online
    This subscription database includes all cases reported in the The Law Reports (since 1865) and in The Weekly Law Reports (since 1952), as well as cases published in several subject-specific reporters.  It includes a citator, which provides links to both cited and citing cases, as well as subsequent appellant history.  

  • Halsbury's Laws of England (5th ed.) INTL KD310 .H3 2008
    This regularly updated multi-volume set is the preeminent legal encyclopedia for researching both statutory law and the development and evolution of common law principles in the U.K.  Organized hierarchically by title (subject) in numbered paragraphs, with each statement of the law leading to a footnote with citations to relevant authority.

If you need assistance with UK legal research, visit the reference desk, located in the Reading Room on the second floor of the Williams Library.  Or contact the library's International and Foreign Law Department by phone (202-662-4195) or by email (  Students, faculty, and staff of the Georgetown Law Center may chat with a librarian online or request a research consultation.

United Kingdom Flag

Public Domain Image via Wikimedia Commons

The United Kingdom's Constituent Nations

Source:  UKPhoenix79 via Wikimedia Commons
GNU Free Document License

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