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Law: EU Law

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

Finding European Union Content online

Europa publications page : Europa provides a link to all the institutions of the EU, press releases and other recent material, information on policies, publications, legal texts and other documents

Court of Justice of the European Union : All case law for the Court of Justice reported alongside case notes and any Advocate General opinions.

EUR-Lex : Convert case numbers to year / number to search, e.g. C-213/89 = 1989; no 213

Council Library : The Council Library provides access to a wide range of information resources relevant to the work of the Council of the European Union and the European Council. The collections focus on EU policies, EU integration and member states, law, political science, international relations, languages, and more. Search the Council's Eureka gateway

Legislative Train Schedule : Following the 2019 European elections, in her statements to the European Parliament in July and November 2019, as candidate for European Commission President and President-elect respectively, Ursula von der Leyen outlined the six political priorities that would shape the work of the European Commission over the next five years. The Legislative Train Schedule aims at providing an interesting, content rich and easy to understand way to visualise the legislative elements that form the major part of the work programme. Using trains, carriages and railways as a metaphor, the application allows users to monitor the progress of legislative files during the current and past European Parliament term.

EU relevant think tanks

Search Europa - a separate search engine developed by the European Journalism Centre

Official Journal of the European Union : The official compendium of EU legislation (L series) and other official documents of the EU institutions, bodies and agencies (C series and its supplements).

EU Bookshop publications search : Details of EU publications from 1952 onwards. Filter results by Format PDF to find documents available online

European Research Papers Archive : An archive of quality online papers on European integration (founded 1998)

Archive of European Integration : Repository and archive of research materials on European integration and unification. Independently-produced research materials and official European Community/European Union documents are included. Founded 2002 to complement the European Research Papers Archive

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:

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:

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.


European Union data sets

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 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.

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

European Union print content in the McClay Library

The Library’s collection of publications from the European Union date back to the early 1950s and all print materials are shelved in Law and Official Publications on Floor 2 of the McClay Library.

The classification assigned to the print collection is JY10 – JY850.

Basic documents, indexes, agreements and treaties are located JY10 to JY70. Overall, the publications are arranged under their issuing body with e.g. European Commission at JY90, European Parliament at JY100 and European Court of Justice at JY200. Further subdivision is by subject where necessary. Due to the quantity of documents produced, many are assigned a general classification, e.g. JY300, Enlargement. 

Publications can be found using the Library Catalogue advanced search with guidance from the Searching tab.