Author Archives: lawbod

Black History Month

Browse the following links to discover how the University of Oxford, the University’s Faculty of Law, legal institutions, the Inns of Court and law societies are marking Black History Month this year. Explore the range of events (many online) listed by the University, Black History Month and Blacknet, several of which celebrate Black excellence in the legal profession. You will also find links to articles and reports addressing equality and diversity in the legal profession and the Bar, as well as societies and groups for Black lawyers.

1. University of Oxford
2. Legal Institutions
3. Inns of Court
4. Events related to law within wider organisations
5. Societies/Groups for Black lawyers

1. University of Oxford:

2. Legal Institutions

  • The Law Society:
    • Black History Month: a collaborative perspective – “We asked members of the profession to tell us what Black History Month means to them and what it represents.”
    • Ethnic Minority Lawyers – “We provide an opportunity for solicitors from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and their allies to have their voice for heard, allowing us to represent you effectively”.
    • Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division – “The Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division (EMLD) supports and promotes solicitors and their allies through the provision of career-enhancing events, information and networking opportunities.”
  • Women in the Law UK:
    • Sally Penni, founder of Women in the Law UK, hosts the podcast ‘Talking Law’ – speaking to leading lawyers about their experiences.

3. The Inns of Court

  • The Inner Temple:
    • Black History Month 2020: The Inner Temple asked members and students how the Inn can “do better” in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and as a result are taking actions to develop their inclusivity. “For Black History Month this year, we will be running a social media campaign to highlight black members of the Inn, past and present, who have shaped our justice system and blazed a trail for barristers of the future. Our Library are running a social media campaign to highlight the appalling incidence of deaths in custody of black people in this country.”

4. Events related to law within wider organisations:

5. Societies and groups for Black lawyers 1:

  • Black Solicitors Network :
    • “The Black Solicitors Network (BSN) was formed in 1995 to promote the interests of black solicitors, provide professional support and share information, inform and influence D&I best practice and participate in consultations initiated by The Law Society, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Government and other regulatory bodies in relation to matters which affect black and minority ethnic solicitors.
    • A not-for-profit company, the Black Solicitors Network aims to be the primary voice of black solicitors in England and Wales.”
  • Learning for Lawyers Redefined
    • “REDEFINED – Learning for Lawyers is an alternative learning platform for aspiring lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds.
    • “We deliver a range of webinars & masterclasses facilitated by experienced practitioners, trainee lawyers & other professionals.”
  • BME Legal
    • “Founded in Hull, 2015, by Adeola Fadipe. The not-for-profit group is committed to supporting under-represented groups gain access to support and opportunities that will enable them to obtain pupillage at the Bar of England and Wales.”
  • Black Women in Law
    • “This group is to connect black women in the legal profession: barristers, judges, solicitors, paralegals and law students. This is an opportunity for us to support black women in their legal careers and to provide guidance to those who are looking to begin a legal career.”
  • Urban Lawyers
    • “Urban Lawyers is a charity founded by Tunde Okewale MBE, Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. The charity is managed by a team of dedicated volunteers, some of who are practising Barristers and Solicitors.”
    • Urban Lawyers host promotional legal careers events for students, deliver a variety of workshops including career development, research young people’s attitudes to the criminal justice system, and offer a ‘law in action’ curriculum available to be taught in universities as well as schools.
  • African Women Lawyers’ Association
    • “The African Women Lawyers’ Association (AWLA) exists to help women of African and Caribbean descent who want to enter the legal profession and who want to progress their careers. We aim to provide support, advice, mentoring, training and networking opportunities for all of our members.
    • Our mission is to transform the careers and lives of African women lawyers around the world. We also seek to leave our members feeling refreshed, empowered and optimistic about their lives, their futures and their legal careers.”
  • Bridging the Bar
    • Our Mission: “At Bridging the Bar we believe that for any organisation to reach its full potential, it must reflect the diverse society that we live in. Whilst we recognise that a lot of good work has been done to create greater opportunities at the Bar, there is still a need to incentivise – and support – the organisations, and individuals doing this important work in isolation and the students from non-traditional backgrounds aspiring to a career at the Bar.”
  • BME at the Bar
    • “In 2018, a group of Black barristers practicing in the East Midlands met to seek to increase the number of Black practitioners within our profession.”

1. Some of these groups were found through the article Black Lawyers on Working in the UK’s Criminal Justice System.

Edible Dormice, Christmas and the Law

Picture 1

The fat (or edible) dormouse (glis glis) might seem a surprising choice of Christmas animal: after all, it would usually be safely asleep from September until May, but it is an animal with a strong Oxford connection, thanks to the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). This was published some years before the glis glis was introduced to south-east England in 1902, since when it has spread, and there have been sightings near Oxford. I shall now argue the case for a link between glis glis, Christmas and the law.

Picture 2

There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head. ‘Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; ‘only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’…

… This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off; the Dormouse fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that they would call after her: the last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.

The dormouse in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is stuffed into teapot, which may have been similar to a dolium or ‘dormouse jar’, a special pot that the Etruscans and Romans used to fatten them up for the table. You can see one in the Ashmolean Museum’s exhibition Last Supper in Pompeii. For the Romans, edible dormice were a delicious treat, surely suitable for the midwinter Feast of Saturnalia and therefore eligible to join the list of unfortunate edible Christmas animals, such as turkeys and geese.  Petronius writes of sprinkling them with honey and poppy seeds, while Apicius describes stuffing them with forcemeat and nuts before roasting or boiling them.*

Lewis Carroll’s dormouse lived in more fortunate times than his Roman antecedents, but not as fortunate as the modern glis glis which is a protected species under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.

I didn’t find a dolium (dormouse-jar) in the Ashmolean shop, or even a toy dormouse, but they do sell finger mice, seen here with the statute that protects the glis glis.  I rest my case.

Picture 3

* For more information on dormice in Roman times, see Kim Beerden, “Roman Dolia and the Fattening of Dormice.” (2012) 105 The Classical World 227 accessed 18 December 2019
Image and quoted text credits: Picture 1: (Photograph: Peter Dean.  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; Picture 2 with text: Text: Project Gutenberg’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll accessed 18 December 2019. Image: New York Public Library Digital Collections accessed 18 December 2019; Picture 3: Margaret Watson

Posted by the Academic Services Librarian

Electronic Legal Deposit and the UK Web Archive

It’s week 6 of Getting to Know the Law Bod and this week we are looking at both Electronic Legal Deposit and the UK Web Archive.  A brief introduction can be found below but come and check out our display when you are next in the Library, it is just outside the Photocopying Room on the main level.


Electronic Legal Deposit


Legal Deposit, which has existed in English law since 1662, ensures that the published output of the UK and Ireland is collected, preserved and made available within the six Legal Deposit Libraries for present and future generations. Did you know that new regulations came into force on the 6 April 2013 to extend Legal Deposit to materials published electronically and on the internet?  Print publications for legal deposit can be books, journals, sheet music, maps, plans, charts or tables. Electronic Legal Deposit also covers material published digitally such as e-books, e-journals, websites and blogs. Without the legislation the Legal Deposit Libraries would not be able to collect and give access to this important body of e only material. This is especially important as many academic publishers are publishing only in eformat.


The six Legal Deposit Libraries in the UK work together to archive and provide seamless access to electronic Legal Deposit material, with a growing collection of more than 5 million eBooks and eJournal articles. Material received electronically from publishers is saved in perpetuity by the Legal Deposit Libraries and due the legislation can only be accessed on library premises.


UK Web Archive

UK Web Archive  is where researchers can access archived websites blogs etc. Researchers can use this site to discover old or obsolete versions of UK websites, search the text of the websites and browse websites curated on different topics and themes. You can also nominate a website to be archived even your own!

For comprehensive information on how to access and use electronic Legal Deposit at the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford please see our online guide Electronic Legal Deposit for Readers and Reading Room Staff.

Scotland Yard v Mr X

Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service (Or Met), the territorial police force responsible for policing most of London OR a game where players must try and catch a criminal stalking the streets of London by ‘landing’ on them.

Scotland Yard Board Game by ivva reproduced under Creative Commons Licence

The game revolves around most of the players trying to travel around London using taxis, buses and underground tickets and trying to land on the same ‘space’ as the player who has been designated ‘the criminal’ or ‘Mr X’.  Catch is that the Mr X only has to show where he/she is every 5th go.  Players also have a limited number of ‘tickets’ for each method of transport whereas the criminal has their own tickets as well as any used by other players (crime definitely paying in this instance).

It all makes for quite an exciting (or stressful) game and it would be quite easy to link the game to wealth of criminal law resources we have.  However this Christmas blog shies away from the obvious and so we are going to look at taxis or more specifically Uber (which may or may not be considered a taxi).

One of the methods of transport in the game and in real life you need to be a bit more careful with (fewer tickets/more expensive) are taxis.  One may even be tempted to give Uber a call to save money.  However not everyone is happy with Uber, since its introduction in the UK there have been a number of legal challenges on various issues.

  1. In October 2015 TfL brought a case in the High Court, Transport for London v Uber London Ltd [2015] EWHC 2918 (Admin); [2016] RTR 12. The case related to the way in which Uber calculates the fares (drivers use an app) after looking at it, the court ruled that the app is legal.
  2.  In October 2016, in the case of Aslam v Uber BV  [2016] UKET 2202551/2015; [2017] IRLR 4, the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers are “workers” rather than being self-employed. This means that they would be entitled to the minimum wage, paid holiday, sick leave etc. On appeal in November 2017, the Employment Appeal Tribunal  (UKEAT/0056/17/DA) upheld the ruling but Uber indicated that it would appeal again so watch this space as it will have legal implications on other similar employers.  If you are interested in looking for Employment Tribunal cases then you can look at a number of the subscription databases however cases BAILII (British and Irish Legal Information Institute) have selected Employment Tribunals for more recent years and Employment Appeal Tribunals.
  3. Grey Ball by Kristin Kokkersvold reproduced under Creative Commons Licence.

    Not so much a legal challenge as such but in September 2017 Transport for London announced that it would not be renewing the licence of Uber’s local service provider ULL(Uber London Ltd). TfL was concerned over a number of issues but an interesting element, according to the media, was the use of software called Greyball, I will leave it up to the reader to investigate the story behind the software but needless to say it could possibly allow users to evade the law and fly under the radar which brings us neatly back round to the game of Scotland Yard. Uber indicated that it would appeal against the decision.




For those interested, the licencing and regulation of private hire vehicles and operators and drivers within the City of London is governed by the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998.  Transport for London is the licensing authority (under the act) and they have the power to prescribe further requirements through regulations (s.32).  An abstract of current legal requirements for drivers and operators can be found on TfL’s website but as the documents suggest you need to look at the legislation itself for the law.  The best place to look for legislation is one of the major UK databases (Westlaw or Lexis Library) as it will have the legislation as amended and as up to date as it can be.

It’s only make believe

'Conway Twitty' by Bradford Timeline used under Creative Commons Licence.

‘Conway Twitty’ by Bradford Timeline used under Creative Commons Licence.

This somewhat melancholy and mournful tune by Conway Twitty, was the 1958 Christmas number one.  Conway Twitty, (having changed his name and chosen two seemingly random towns as names), was an American singer and this was his first big hit.  The song was actually written whilst Conway was in Ontario, apparently he had become convinced that this is where success could be found.  However despite this song reaching number 1 in 22 countries , it didn’t immediately bring forth great riches.  Indeed, subsequently Conway resurfaced as a Country & Western singer and then after a few further false starts made his money creating the theme park ‘Twitty City’ in Nashville. (A marvellous example of assonance and consonance!)

But what of the 1958 Christmas Number 1? Here’s a brief extract:

My hopes, my dreams come true, my life I’d give for you,

My heart, a wedding ring, my all, my everything.

My heart I can’t control, you rule my very soul,

My only prayer will be someday you’ll care for me

But it’s o-only make believe.

The theme  of ‘unrequited love’ dominates the lyrics – perhaps not overly ‘Christmassy’ – but a theme nonetheless!  Perhaps I can explore this theme further in the newspapers – those sources that bring a whole new meaning to ‘it’s only make believe’!

Newspapers are of course a valuable source of information and we subscribe to many newspaper databases.  [It’s worth noting here for any Westlaw aficionados, that we don’t subscribe to ‘news’ content on Westlaw, so therefore the ‘news’ tab is defunct.  However you could still search some UK newspapers via the current awareness tab, you would however largely receive just an abstract, so to read the actual article you would then need to try a specialist newspaper database.  There is a ‘UK newspapers’ searchable group on Lexis going back to 1982, however the coverage obviously varies according to the publication.]

So, perhaps the best place to start, might be to look at OxLip+ via SOLO.  Here you can narrow your search down to newspapers, by clicking on the ‘subject tab’.  By doing this, you will retrieve 67 hits, clicking on the ‘i’ will furnish you with a little more information on the holdings and currency of each database.  The big two are Nexis and Factiva, the latter with a bias towards business information.

Firstly looking at Nexis, I can narrow down my search to a group of newspapers e.g UK national newspapers, or alternatively I can just search for and pick one source.  Being that us emotionally stunted British are possibly incapable of discussing my song’s theme of ‘unrequited love’,  I think I’ll start with The New York Times.  Search in the source box and click on the ‘I’ for currency information.  By typing in my search ‘unrequited love’ and asking it to appear in the headline produces three results. nexis new york times serach strategy

Immediately the one that grabs my eye is the third hit: ‘Pain of Unrequited Love Afflicts the Rejecter, Too.’  Whilst Conway’s song is all about the emotional state of the would-be lover, he never once considers the anguish felt by the rejecter – surely a huge oversight!  

The article discusses a study by Dr Baumeister and Sara Wotman that explores the impact on the ‘pursued’ rather than the pursuer’.  The findings of this research are published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  A quick check on Solo and immediately I am taken to the online version of this journal via a database called Ovidsp – (sometimes we are allowed to use databases that are not strictly ‘law’!) For more information on this database do have a look at our Medical Law LibGuide.  By searching on the author’s surname, in this case ‘Baumeister’, I can see the report approximately half-way down the subsequent results list: Unrequited Love: On Heartbreak, Anger, Guilt, Scriptlessness, and Humiliation.  Indeed Dr. Baumeister concludes:

To refuse love, even unwanted love, seems to violate some deeply rooted and widespread human tendencies. Although many would consider it an enviable position to be in to have others offering love, in fact it turns out to be a difficult and upsetting position. ”  Baumeister, Roy, Wotman, Sara, Stillwell, Arlene ‘Unrequited Love: On Heartbreak, Anger, Guilt, Scriptlessness, and Humiliation’ (1993) Vol 64 (3) J Pers Soc Psychol 377, 394

But how has the path of true love (or not true love) changed over time?  Perhaps I can track the theme of unrequited love across one of our databases of historical newspapers.  Two immediately spring to mind – The Times Digital Archive and ProQuest Historical Newspapers.  Looking at the latter first, I can see a list of historical newspapers databases that it holds here.  I’ve selected The Guardian and Observer and used the advanced search option, so that I can search for my terms in the title of the article.

Here you’ll read many cases of tragic endings from the 1920’s when love remained unrequited.  They are quite fascinating if only for the enigmatic language used; for example we have the student infatuated ‘with a lady of irreproachable character’ and the youth ‘enamoured with a  maid on the farm’.

But what of Conway himself, was he writing from personal experience?  Perhaps we can glean more information on Conway by  searching for his obituary on the The Times Digital archive. (Keep it light they said – sorry!). times digital archive

This database can be found via Oxlip+, or you could simply search for it in SOLO. By keyword searching ‘Conway Twitty’ I quickly find his obituary.  The motivation for his song is not clear, but it is perhaps fair to surmise that having being married 3 times, Conway’s love was requited sometimes!

Perhaps we can leave Conway now with the oft quoted words of Lord Tennyson from his poem “In Memoriam A.H.H.” :

‘Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all’

By Nicola Patrick, Research Support Librarian

Hello, Goodbye

Beatles album cover by Mark Sardella used under the Creative Commons Licence

Beatles album cover by Mark Sardella used under the Creative Commons Licence


Who can forget the 1967 classic ‘Hello, Goodbye’ by the Beatles? Perhaps not the most diverse set of lyrics of any Christmas number 1, indeed here is a short sample;

“You say goodbye and I say hello

Hello hello

I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello

Hello hello

I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello”

Apparently the song is largely a result of a conversation between Alistair Taylor and Paul McCartney that went something like this:

Taylor: How do you write a song?

'Piano' by Ali Moradi used under the Creative Commons Licence.

‘Piano’ by Ali Moradi used under the Creative Commons Licence.

McCartney: I’ll show you [reaches for harmonium]. Now you hit a note on the keyboard and I’ll do the same and you shout out the opposite to every word I say…’Black’

Taylor: White

McCartney: Yes

Taylor: No

McCartney: Hello

Taylor: Goodbye

Bingo! And there you have the Christmas number one. Admittedly this may be a slight over-simplification on my part, but I suspect it’s not a million miles away from the truth!

But what if I, now I’m feeling empowered by these lyrics, wish to use them in my next ‘jingle’? I need to be aware that I will probably be breaching copyright law.  In the UK, copyright works fall into at least one of 8 categories.  See the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.  So in this case the lyrics are protected as a ‘literary’ work not a ‘musical work’.  The ‘music’ obviously being protected as a ‘musical work’.  But what is ‘music’ I hear you ask, is it simply the notes on the page? One possible answer can be found in the judgment of Mummery LJ in the case Sawkins v Hyperion Records Ltd [2005] EWCA Civ 565, [2005] 1 W.L.R. 3281 9 [53]

53 In the absence of a special statutory definition of music, ordinary usage assists: as indicated in the dictionaries, the essence of music is combining sounds for listening to. Music is not the same as mere noise. The sound of music is intended to produce effects of some kind on the listener’s emotions and intellect. The sounds may be produced by an organised performance on instruments played from a musical score, though that is not essential for the existence of the music or of copyright in it. Music must be distinguished from the fact and form of its fixation as a record of a musical composition. The score is the traditional and convenient form of fixation of the music and conforms to the requirement that a copyright work must be recorded in some material form. But the fixation in the written score or on a record is not in itself the music in which copyright subsists. There is no reason why, for example, a recording of a person’s spontaneous singing, whistling or humming or improvisations of sounds by a group of people with or without musical instruments should not be regarded as “music” for copyright purposes.

So the lines can be a little blurred in terms of what category a work will fall into. ‘Blurred Lines’ have also been a problem for Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and Clifford Harris, Jr. – remember this case: Williams v Bridgeport Music Inc unreported 14 July 2015 (D (US)). This concerned whether Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, songwriters of “Blurred Lines”, copied the late Marvin Gaye’s

'Marvin Gaye' by Cliff used under Creative Commons Licence

‘Marvin Gaye’ by Cliff used under Creative Commons Licence

“Got to Give It Up”, and should pay compensation. To read the case go to Westlaw International (which also has a new look, having spent a period of time looking somewhat ‘pasty’).  There are many articles discussing the IP implications of this case, perhaps a good starting point would be to look on the Legal Journals Index on Westlaw.


Having whetted my appetite with discussions of copyright and music, perhaps I could turn to the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN) for further enlightenment.


This in itself enables a ‘hello’ moment- as you will immediately notice that the SSRN has undergone a desperately needed facelift. This is a result of Elsevier purchasing the SSRN back in May of this year, see for press comment.   The website has a new look which makes it feel less cumbersome and as a result it is easier to navigate.  Significantly it has also resulted in the availability of full text searching.  It is not at the level of sophistication of a regular law database, however we anticipate there will be more changes shortly.  The long-term plans for the SSRN are explained here:

Now following my earlier newly acquired interest of ‘copyright in musical scores’, I can search the SSRN using either the quick search or the advanced search option.  Out of simple curiousity I could just search for the Sawkins case and see if this is discussed.  As luck would have it I receive three useful looking hits for me to peruse. ssrn-hits

Alternatively I may want a closer look at what subject matter journals there are for copyright and this I can see by drilling down through the Legal Scholarship Network, then ‘subject matter ejournals’ and finally ‘intellectual property law ejournals’.

Perhaps this is a good time to remind you that research students at the Law Faculty may subscribe to the Social Science Research Network subject matter ejournals. Essentially this is an email notification of the most recently posted papers on SSRN on a particular subject.  To subscribe please email me on and I will add you to our list of subscribers. You will then receive an email directly from the SSRN with further instructions.

So hopefully a positive ‘hello’ to a new look SSRN and not a ‘goodbye’ to free downloads of papers.

Before I say ‘goodbye’ to the subject of intellectual property, it is probably worth reminding you that there is a LibGuide on intellectual property found here and this will discuss the specific IP database ‘Darts-IP’ in more detail.

And what tenuous link can I make to the line:

 ‘Why why why why why why do you say goodbye goodbye, oh no?

Perhaps it was a reference to us saying goodbye to the EU?

The Law Faculty obviously has its own research site and blog, but are you aware of the information on our new database – PLC? (It was even worthy of its own blog post not so long ago.)

Entitled ‘Brexit – the legal implications’ this section of the database includes articles, blogs and a very useful ‘tracker’. Here, as a snapshot, I can see all government and parliamentary developments relating to Brexit.

So many ‘hellos and goodbyes’ in 2016…

And lets it leave with the Beatles for the last word:

‘hela heba helloa, cha cha cha’

In fact, let’s not,  Merry Xmas!

Nicola Patrick, Research Support Librarian

'Baubles' by Cam Miller used under the Creative Commons Licence

‘Baubles’ by Cam Miller used under the Creative Commons Licence

‘Practical Law’ for practically everyone…

by Nicola Patrick, Research Support Librarian

Dear readers,

We thought we’d make you aware that we now have IP access to PLC. You can access this database in the normal way via the LawBod’s legal databases page:

For those of you who haven’t come across PLC before, I’ve created a short Q&A crib sheet below, which should hopefully get you up and running.

  • What is it?

PLC stands for Practical Law Company, more commonly referred to as ‘Practical Law’. It is a database commonly used in law firms and is aimed at the practising lawyer.

  • So why do we have it?

Well, we think there are parts of the database that could be very useful to our readers, regardless of their level of study. For example, the practice notes provide explanations of law and practice on various legal topics.

  • Who owns it?

Thomson Reuters, so the same people that own Westlaw UK – hence the expectation of seamless linking from PLC to Westlaw.

  • How do you envisage we use it?

Different users will utilise it in different ways. Those preparing for moots may find it a useful resource for their research.  Equally if you are new to an area of law this could be a good starting place, as it will direct you to the main legislation and case law.   Researchers may wish to subscribe to legal updates in their particular area and perhaps make use of the more detailed analysis provided in some of the notes or utilise the ‘ask a question’ feature. All users will find it useful that the journal PLC is fully searchable on this database.  Those going on law firm vacation placements, or moving into practice, may also find it useful to explore the other features closely related to practice such as ‘standard forms’.

  • Is it up to date?

The currency of the information is always clearly indicated. If the status is given as ‘maintained’ you can rest assured that the information is being continually updated. If it isn’t ‘maintained’ then a date is usually given, clearly indicating when it was last updated.



  • How comprehensive is it?

Well, if you mean does it cover the whole of UK Law, then the honest answer is ‘no’. This is the list of broad practice areas that PLC covers:



  • What exactly do we have access to?

All the practice notes, standard forms, checklists, glossary etc. that comes under the UK practice areas that PLC covers. Also we can access ‘legal updates’ and PLC magazine.  We don’t have access to ‘books’ which you will see under ‘resources’. (You will have access via one of our other databases or in hard copy in the Lawbod so it isn’t necessary to duplicate this resource here.) Also we can access information on various legal topics for other countries through the ‘countries’ tab.

  • Is it just UK?

Yes and no! We have subscribed to UK PLC, therefore the buttons that say US/Canada at the top right of the site are largely defunct for our purposes.  You can click on them and receive limited information but when you try and drill down into anything meaningful you are met with the message ‘you don’t subscribe to this’! Please note we have vast numbers of other country specific databases – for more information see our LibGuides on ‘jurisdictions’ –

If you click on ‘global’ you are pretty much accessing the same information as you would through the UK site, but just with a ‘country first’ approach, rather than a ‘topic first’ approach.

There is information available on 71 countries through the countries tab on the UK PLC site. Within the limits of certain pre-set questions you can also do a country comparison. You select the questions you want to ask and choose the countries you want to compare.



Alternatively you can access a multi-jurisdictional guide through ‘publications’ under ‘resources’.



  • How do I search it?

It’s quite an intuitive database to search. So, start by putting your terms into the search box.



Like Westlaw, it assumes ‘and’ between words so if you want something treated as a phrase then you need to put it in double quotation marks e.g. “shareholder agreement”

You can use OR for alternate terms. (Bear in mind that PLC automatically searches for synonyms and alternative forms of common words.)

  • When I do a search how do my results come back?

They are split into 3 tabs:



‘Know-how’ will contain your practice notes, standard documents, legal updates etc.

‘Publications’ brings hits back from Bloomsbury Professional and PLC magazine.  The magazines are fine to access. However, although we do have access to Bloomsbury Professional to access ‘Family Court Reports’ (might be worthy of another blog post on that change), we don’t have access to the books, so those links won’t go anywhere.  However you will be able to find the book elsewhere – check SOLO or ask a Librarian.

‘What’s Market’ provides access to public company transactions and AGM materials.

On the right hand side you will see links to ‘related content’ – perhaps to an article or to the ‘legislation tracker’

  • What about accessing the full text for cases and legislations?

Well, if you remember earlier I optimistically mentioned the phrase ‘seamlessly linking’ this is the goal and for the most part this does happen for legislation.

Please note you do have to have an active Westlaw session running for PLC to link to the actual document on Westlaw.

Currently there appears to be a problem with cases linking to Westlaw, or indeed any publicly available alternative. We have advised PLC of this fault, so hopefully the ‘seamlessly linking’ ideal would come to fruition shortly!

  • Do I need my own username and password?

No, with IP access we have tried to avoid the need to create separate passwords for every user. A personal account only becomes necessary if you are doing a lot of drafting through ‘Fastdraft’ or wish to annotate resources – again more aimed at the practising lawyer. You can receive by email legal updates in your practice area to your inbox without the need for a separate account.

  • If I need help who can I contact?

There is online help:

Either ‘search help’




In-depth legal help:


However, if it is a question of how to use the database or you cannot find something, please email me at and I’ll try to resolve the issue.

Free access to OUP resources on refugee law

A reminder, from OUP…

In response to the refugee crisis in Europe, Oxford University Press has made more than 30 book chapters, journal articles, and pieces of content from online resources freely accessible to assist those working with refugees on the ground, as well as anyone who would like to know more about the framework of rights and obligations concerning refugees. The materials are structured around four key questions: who is a refugee, what rights do they have, what are transit states’ obligations, and what are the duties of the state where a refugee applies for asylum. Other useful resources are linked to at the bottom of the OUP web page.

  1. Who is a refugee?
  2. What rights do refugees have?
  3. What are the obligations imposed on states which refugees pass through en route to their destination of choice (transit states)?
  4. What are the obligations imposed on states in which refugees apply for asylum?
  5. Helpful Links

A new look for i-law, ICLR and Jordans

By Katie Carter

A number of our subscription databases have been busy sprucing themselves up over the Easter vac, so we’re taking a quick look at their new looks.


Log in to i-law

Log in to i-law

First up, i-law.  This carries the Lloyds Law Reports and the Lloyds Maritime and Commercial Quarterly.  We added in some new content earlier in the year, so it also carries the Lloyds Insurance and Reinsurance Law Reports, as well as the Building Law Reports and the Professional Negligence reports.  You still need to login, and can find the details on weblearn via links in Oxlip+ or on the LawBod databases page.  This is NOT your single sign on.

Once in, you’ll see a new ‘law reports’ search form.  You can also find this through the ‘Law Reports’ link next to the search box at the top of the screen.

Searching on i-law

Searching on i-law

Above it, you’ll find a link to the ‘Advanced’ search form, which allows you to, for example, search across the LLR and the LMCLQ at the same time.  (So not actually a link to ‘Advanced Law Reports’ – sorry!)

Finding our titles in i-law

Finding our titles in i-law


To see which titles we subscribe to, click on the ‘My Tools’ link at the top of the page, then choose ‘Subscription Library’. Handily, if you use one of the Publications options from the left menu it will split the titles by those to which we have a subscription and those to which we don’t, so you shouldn’t end up browsing for something you can’t read.



The biggest changes here are the dashboard home screen and the results list.  The dashboard includes a nice compact search form, and all the recent case law updates you might want.

ICLR home dashboard

ICLR home dashboard

ICLR results list

ICLR results list


The results screen consolidates case reports, and presents Citator+ and case report links in the same list.  You might as well choose a case report link, the citator information is all available there too!

All pretty good, and you should have no trouble figuring it out if you’ve used the previous interface.



Jordans Family Law Online (and Elder Law Journal)

There are two options to find what you’re looking for in Jordans: browse and search.  Browsing is still the obvious option – click on the title you’re interested in from the left menu, and just keep drilling down until you get where you’re going!  Most titles to which we don’t have a subscription are greyed out, so it should be fairly obvious.  (One or two unfortunately appear available when they aren’t – notably International Children Law Focus and Books Online – but it should become obvious pretty quickly where this is the case.)

Search in Jordans

Search in Jordans

Your alternative is the two new search options in the upper right corner, which are both fairly self-explanatory.  The search covers all the Family Law Online material, but as with the browse options, titles we don’t have are greyed out.  Navigating the results list does therefore require a bit of attention, but it should otherwise be pretty straightforward!


Jordans save optionsOnce you’ve found your document, you’ll notice the download/print options have moved.  Click on the cog on the far right below the search links to find them again.  The cog above the left menu is less helpful, if you click on that one by mistake.  It offers the option of viewing the left menu as either a Table of Contents (default view) OR as an Index.  The Index looks promising, but it isn’t there yet – the terms are not consolidated and most of them appear to link to content we don’t have, without the handy ‘greyed out’ warning sign.  Best to leave that option as it is on Table of Contents for now!