I have decided to take advantage of the blog to draw a little attention to some of the legal research aids for my primary jurisdiction, the United Kingdom, that we have available online through the Law Library of Congress website. There are a mixture of resources available from this site on the U.K., from research guides to more detailed research reports under the heading “Current Legal Topics” that address different legal subjects. Frequently, the research report on the U.K. is just one part of a multi-national project. These projects provide information and analysis on the laws of one subject from a variety of jurisdictions and typically also come with a comparative analysis.
The most popular U.K. law web page available from the Law Library of Congress is the Legal Research Guide to the United Kingdom. This guide aims to provide a starting board and basic understanding of the legal world of the U.K. It provides an introduction and overview of the U.K.’s legal system, the official sources of the law, both in print as well as links to useful online websites. This is one of many legal research guides to various countries around the world that we have on our website. Additional information on online sources of UK law is through our Guide to Law Online portal, which was subject to a recent blog post by Christine and has been put together and kept up to date by the expertize of some of our fabulous reference law librarians here.
As noted above, we also provide reports on legal issues of the day, or on legal issues that seem to recur. For example, after former Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that there was to be a general election in the U.K. we posted a report on the election laws and system that governs this occurence. Another timely report that involves a recurring theme is that of campaign financing – we have reports from Australia, Germany, France, Israel, the United Kingdom, and a comparative analysis of the laws of these jurisdictions.
One of the more popular reports on U.K. law available on our website is an analysis of the laws affecting children’s rights. This report provides a basic overview of the laws regarding children’s rights in a number of fields and again is just one of a number of reports on this subject that forms part of a multinational project. It is also accompanied by a nice preface by the Honorable Ted Poe, Representative for the 2nd District of Texas, United States House of Representatives.
Two other online reports address the ongoing difficulties faced by the British government when attempting to address the issue of suspected terrorist suspects – individuals that the government cannot prosecute for a variety of reasons, or whom authorities suspect will commit a terrorist act but have not yet violated any laws. These reports address how a type of pre-charge detention works in the U.K. and the habeas corpus rights of prisoners. Rounding out the selection of U.K. reports online is one on medical malpractice, which provides a different perspective on medical malpractice under a state funded health care system. Canada, Germany, and India are also included in this study.