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Researching Case Law

Nominate reports

Prior to 1865, cases were reported by private court reporters and were known as nominate reports, reflecting the name of the reporter, e.g. Jacob.

Many nominate cases from 1220 - 1873 have been published as the English Reports (ER).

The English Reports are available online from HeinOnline, Westlaw UK and CommonLII

English Reports on HeinOnline

The English Reports are available in full-text PDF format on HeinOnline.

From the Browse Databases by Category section, Click on U.K. Content and then click on English Reports.

HeinOnline English Reports


The Law Reports

The Law Reports (LR) (1865 to date) are the authorised cases for the UK and are available online from the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales (ICLR). They contain current and historical series, e.g.:

Chancery          Ch          1891 - 

                         Ch D       1875-1890

See AGLC4 rule 24.1.2 for abbreviations of current and predecessor series within the Law Reports.

Cite from the Law Reports where available.

See the Authorised cases via ICLR tab for instructions on how to locate cases on ICLR Online. 

AGLC4 Citation

Nominate reports: AGLC4 rule 24.1.3

Cite a nominate report case using the abbreviation as listed in Appendix A: Law Report Abbreviations.

When citing a nominate report case that has a parallel citation* to an English Reports version, give the parallel citation after the nominate report. If a pinpoint is required, use the pinpoint to the ER version only.

Duke of Buccleugh v Cowan (1866) 5 Macpheson 214.
(In this example, no ER version is available, so the nominate report only is used.)

Peters v Fleming (1840) 6 M & W 42; 151 ER 314, 315.

* parallel citation: a reference to the same case published in two or more sources

Law ReportsAGLC4 rule 24.1.2

Where 'LR' appears in the abbreviation, the volume number should be included between 'LR' and the rest of the abbreviation.

Roe v Minister for Health [1954] 2 QB 66.

Cattle v Stockton Waterworks Co (1875) LR 10 QB 453.