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Researching Case Law

ICLR Online

ICLR Online is a not for profit organisation that was established in 1865 as the authorised publisher of the official series of The Law Reports for the Superior and Appellate Courts of England and Wales.

The Weekly Law Reports comprise 4 volumes:

Volume 1 cases cover procedural matters and points of law of general interest.

Volumes 2 and 3 cases are of greater long term interest and are subsequently published in The Law Reports.

Volume 4 cases illustrate application of established rules and principles, summarise established rules and principles or articulate principles to guide judicial discretion. They are not available in print but can be accessed via ICLR Online.

Searching ICLR by citation

To search by citation:

Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company [1893] 1 QB 256 is a landmark case that established the test for formation of a contract.

  • To locate it using the citation, first choose Full Search 

  • Enter [1893] 1 QB 256 in the Citation/Reference box. ICLR's search facility is very forgiving - it is not case sensitive, and while the year should be in brackets, you can leave them out and your search will still be successful.

Searching ICLR by case name

To search by case name:

Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre v Selfridge and Co. Ltd. [1915] AC 847 confirmed privity of contract: Only a party to a contract can be sued on it.

  • To locate the case by case name, first choose Full Search

  • Enter the names of either one of the parties in the Case Name box. It is not necessary to include a party's full name. For example, entering dunlop pneumatic will locate the above case.

  • An even easier way is to start typing the case name in the main search box on the first page of the database - the search will complete as you type.

Printing and saving a case

The name of the case will take to the case citator record, the citation will take you the pdf of the case itself.

  • To print or save the case, you need to click on the citation (eg. [1915] AC 847).


  • The case appears in the right hand part of the screen.


  • We suggest you save the pdf to your computer - printing from the PDF shows the case as it appears in the print reports. 


Legislation judicially considered

'Referenced legislation' appears on the right of the screen when the full text of the case is displayed:

Finding legislation judicially considered

Select adjacent to the search box at the top of the screen.

Type the name of the Act and the section required, both in double quotation marks: