Last week we looked at finding legislation using paper-based sources. Legislation can also be researched online using Lexis Library and Westlaw and this week we are looking at how to research using Lexis Library.
There are two ways to initiate a search for legislation from the Lexis Library front page:
1 Choose UK Parliament Acts from the Bookshelf list
2 Choose Legislation from the bar at the top of the screen
Whichever option you choose, you now have a choice either to search the database or browse it. The search option is preferable if you know the name of your act: choose browse if you want an overview of the holdings.
To search, enter as much data as you can into the search fields: especially the title of your act and the year it was passed (if you know this) in the respective fields. If you know your act’s chapter number enter it in the Series Number field. If you are looking for a specific section of an act, enter Section [number] in the Provision field. If you are looking for a particular schedule, enter its number in the Part or Schedule field.
Check that the Sources field is set to UK Parliament Acts: this will prevent your search from producing many irrelevant finds.
You can also enter general search terms into the Search Terms field, but you are more likely to have an efficient search if you use more specific fields.
When you are ready, click over the red Search button.
To browse for an act, look at the list of letters which appears when you request a browse and choose the letter your act name is likely to begin with, clicking on the plus sign next to the selected letter. Keep choosing from the subfields that appear in the same way until you see a list of acts by name. Finally, choose the appropriate section of the act to bring the text to the screen.
Note: Acts that have [R] next to them have been repealed: if you click over them you will not see the text of the act, but instead the date of repeal and the repealing authority.
When you check the act, you’ll see that it contains the same information as the paper-based Halsbury’s Statutes does. Specifically brackets [thus] indicated added text, the ellipsis […..] indicates removed text and the Halsburys commentary also appears.
Take a look at the Find Out More box at the top right- as well as giving you links to related cases or commentary etc. you can go to Is it in force? to see if your act is in force, or the Statute citator to see if it has been amended.
Next week, we will look at how to research legislation using Westlaw.