Last week we took a look at how to use Halsbury’s laws as a paper resource: Halsbury’s is also available online and here is how to use it.
The online version of Halsbury’s Laws is part of Lexis Library, so log on to ELITE, go to the My Library page and click over Lexis Library, which you’ll find in the Databases box.
Having entered Lexis Library, look for Halsbury’s Laws: it’s listed under My Bookshelf or Commentary. Having selected it, you can either Search it (that is, look for keywords) or Browse it (that is start at the overall table of the contents and then look at parts of the work in greater depth).
If you choose Search, you should now think of keywords and enter them in the Search terms box. Put a connector between each word: there are several to choose from, but the most common are and and or.
If, for example, you enter ’employment and law’, the database will search for all documents that contain both of these words, but not those that contain only ’employment’ or only ‘law’. If you enter ’employment or law’ it will search for documents containing both words and also those which contain only one of the words. So, use and if you expect you will get a lot of unnecessary results, and you want to make your search narrower, and or if you suspect you will get very few results and want to make your search as broad as possible.
When you have entered your search terms, click over the red Search button. You should then receive a list of possible results: click over one to go to the relevant part of Halsbury’s Laws.
If you choose to browse the database, you will see a full table of contents for Halsbury’s Laws. When you see an area of the work you would like to look at more closely, click over the cross next to the heading.
This calls up the sub-headings for the section you’ve just selected. Continue to click over the cross next to an item you’re interested in, until the relevant part of Halsbury’s Laws appears.
Note that when you use Halsbury’s Laws online, the column that appears on the left of the screen shows you your location in the overall work.
You do not need to worry about checking Halsbury’s Laws online for updates: the database is automatically updated!
Next week we will take a look at using the paper version of Halsbury’s Statutes to research legislation.