Case Law - ICLR

Case law is the law created by the courts.

Although most laws are enacted by Parliament in the form of legislation, in a common law system such as ours the courts can also develop the law. By deciding a disputed point of law a senior court (known as a court of record) can change or clarify the law, thereby setting a precedent which other courts are bound to follow or apply in later cases.

By publishing and indexing law reports, ICLR ensures that people can easily find and learn about the cases that have changed or clarified the law over the years, how they have affected earlier cases or interpreted legislation, and whether they have been overtaken by later cases on the same topic.

In this section you’ll find detailed discussion of all aspects of case law. We’ll be adding new articles regularly, so if you’re interested please sign up for updates.

Starter topics (coming soon):

  1. What is a law report?

  2. What’s the difference between a transcript and a law report?

  3. Setting a precedent: what does it actually mean? 

  4. Practice Directions on the citation of case law

  5. Searching and browsing for case law on ICLR.3

  6. Judicial consideration: a reporter’s guide to good law

  7. Looking for an argument? You’ve come to the right place!

  8. The burden of proofs: why accuracy matters

  9. A reference guide to case citations

  10. Print v Online: the pros and cons of book and screen