Skip to main content

Law: EU Law

How to find law reports, journal articles and other sources of legal information

EU Legislation

Directives, regulations and other EU legislation can be found on the EUR-Lex site. A 'bibliographic notice' for legislation on the site notes amendments. Consolidated versions of amended legislation are also avialable.

Search using:

Citation of EU legislation

For legislation published from 2015 onwards, standard (OSCOLA) citation incorporates the EU's harmonisation of numbering for EU legal acts.

Citations for legislation contain the following elements:

  • Form of legislation and institutional origin, e.g. Council Directive, Commission Regulation
  • Treaty basis placed in brackets - usually (EU)
  • Year/number 
  • Date and title
  • Official Journal reference, e.g. [2015] OJ L27/1

A 2015 example would be:

European Parliament and Council Directive (EU) 2015/720 of 29 April 2015 amending Directive 94/62/EC as regards reducing the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags [2015] OJ L115/11

Citation for a pre-2015 Directive adds the treaty basis to the year and number, e.g.

Council Directive 2010/18/EU of 8 March 2010 implementing the revised framework on parental leave [2010] OJ L68/13

Pre 2015 numbering of Regulations reverses number and year, so that the number preceeds the year. Treaty basis is also given in brackets e.g.

European Parliament and  Council Regulation (EU) 600/2014 of 15 May 2014 on markets in financial instruments and amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 [2014] OJ L173/84

Finding UK implementation

Use 'Legislation' searches in Westlaw UK or the Lexis Library to check for UK implementation. Keyword search using standard brief citations, e.g.

'2006/7/EC'.

Research archives

EU Case Law

The Eur-Lex website is the official source for European Court judgments. These also appear in print as the European Court Reports.

Many key EU cases are also reported in UK Law Reports.

Online judgments and reports can be found using:

Citation of EU Cases

Standard (OSCOLA) citation for EU cases combines the following elements

  • Case Number and year of registration, using C- for post 1988 Court of Justice cases, e.g. C-59/89
  • Name of Case, in italics
  • European Court Reports Citation if available, or Common Market Law Reports citation 

An example would be:

Case C-59/89 Commission v Germany [1991] ECR I-2607.

A European Case-Law Identifier (ECLI) was introduced in 2015, using four elements. These follow the case number. 

The ECLI for C-403/03 Schempp v Finanzamt Munchen, is e.g. 

EU:C:2005:446

  • EU indicates that it is a decision delivered by an EU Court or Tribunal 
  • C indicates that this decision was delivered by the Court of Justice. 
  • 2005 indicates that the decision was delivered during 2005;
  • 446 indicates that it is the 446th ECLI attributed in that year.

The elements of the ECLI are separated by colons. Paragraphs in judgments are cited as, e.g 'EU:C:2005:446, para 22'.

The ECLI is treated as a neutral citation in OSCOLA citation, preceding the report citation, e.g. 

Case  C-403/03 Schempp v Finanzamt Munchen EU:C:2005:446, [2005] ECR I-6421.

Finding EU publications