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Keeping up-to-date with the law: EU

Tips for keeping up-to-date with the law in your research area

Keeping up to date with the law

Introduction: EU

This part of the guide provides guidance on keeping up-to-date with EU law using digests and the EU's law database, EUR-Lex.

Eur-Lex: Customised RSS alerts

Registering on the EUR-Lex website is free. If you do so you can set up customized RSS alerts which appear your account menu when logged in (top right of the page)

Once you have registered, run a search that would retrieve the type of results you would be interested in receiving in an alert. On the results page click the following icon to set up the alert:

There are many different ways to search EUR-Lex and it is not possible to list all of the variations in this guide. Here are some ideas to get you started.

New EU legislation / cases on a particular subject

If you want to be alerted each time new legislation or case law is published on EUR-Lex, choose an advanced search and select the type of material you are interested in as appropriate, e.g. legal acts, case-law. Leave the other fields blank and scroll to the theme section of the search page. Choose a subject from the 'subject matter' box and then click search. On the results page click on Create in My RSS feeds.

Legislation consolidations

To be alerted each time a consolidated version of a particular piece of legislation is published, choose an advanced search and select Consolidated Legislation. Enter the document reference number of the piece of legislation you want to be alerted on and the document type. Click search. On the results page click on Create in My RSS feeds.

Official Journal alerts

The Official Journal of the European Union is the EU’s official gazette, usually referred to as the 'OJ'. The 'L Series' (Legislation) publishes secondary and some primary legislation. The 'C Series' (Information and Notices) publishes most primary legislation, preparatory legislative documents, European Parliament minutes, case summaries and other types of documents. It is published daily and is often the quickest way of finding out what is happening in the EU. To set up an RSS alert for a particular series of the OJ, choose an advanced search and choose the official journal section under 'Published in the Official Journal': 

You can search the free-text of the OJ by putting your terms in the Words in text/title field. Alternatively search in the OJ for mentions to particular documents, by entering the details in the document reference field:

Once you have entered all relevant information, click search. On the results page click on Create in My RSS feeds.

EUR-Lex: General RSS alerts

EUR-Lex is the EU's main law database. It is freely available online. Through EUR-Lex you can sign up for predefined RSS alerts without registering with the site: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/predefined-rss.html.

You will be presented with the following options to choose from:

  • All Parliament and Council legislation
  • All case-law of the Court of Justice of teh European Union
  • Case-law of the Court of Justice
  • Commission proposals and related documents
  • OJ C Complete Edition
  • OJ L Complete Edition
  • Acts of the Official Journal C
  • Acts of the Official Journal CA
  • Acts of the Official Journal L

The "Complete Edition" of the OJ will send you one alert with a link to the full edition. The last three options listed above for the various parts of the "Official Journal" will send you one alert per item in the OJ.

Digests

European Current Law, published by Sweet and Maxwell, provides monthly digests of selected EU legislation and case law, arranged by subject. It also lists journal articles, books, legislation, cases, competition decisions, implementing measures and other information. The monthly parts cumulate into yearbooks. IALS holds the series from 1973 (known as European Law Digest 1973-1991).

Brexit

Middle Temple Library maintains a guide to sources of information relating to the UK's EU referendum and Brexit. The links are updated regularly.