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Databases: Databases for EU law

An introduction to IALS Library's electronic resources.

Databases heading

Need more help with EU research?

See IALS Library's EU research guide.


EU primary legislation ("the Treaties") is available on Westlaw UK, Lexis®Library and the free EUR-Lex website; all these sources have consolidated amended versions as well as the original versions. TIP: EUR-Lex is the easiest database to use for researching the Treaties.

EU secondary legislation (regulations, directives, decisions and so on) is on Westlaw UK, Lexis®Library and EUR-Lex, in original and consolidated amended versions; the consolidated versions are occasionally not quite up-to-date.


The decisions of the Court of Justice, the General Court (formerly 'Court of First Instance') and the now-defunct Civil Service Tribunal are available on Westlaw UK, Lexis®Library, EUR-Lex and the EU court website, Curia.

For national court decisions on matters of EU law, see Dec.nat (a free database provided by the Association of the Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union), or the National Case Law collection on EUR-Lex.

Cases from national and EU courts concerning judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters are available in the JURE database on EUR-Lex.

COM documents

EUR-Lex has COM documents from 1960 onwards, under 'Preparatory Documents'. Many old COM docs are available from the Archive of European Integration, and Westlaw UK and Lexis®Library have them from around the mid-1990s onwards. 

The Official Journal (OJ)

All issues of the Official Journal of the European Union / Official Journal.of the European Communities (and other titles) are on EUR-Lex, right back to the 1950s.

Individual documents published in the L series of the Official Journal (directives, regulations and other EU secondary legislation) are on Westlaw UK and Lexis®Library, but they are not grouped by OJ issue.

Documents published in the C series of the Official Journal are on Westlaw UK from 1990 onwards (under 'Information and Notices') and on Lexis®Library from 2000 onwards (under 'EU Materials').

Other EU publications

For other EU official publications, try the Publications Office of the EU, other parts of the Europa website, or the Archive of European Integration.


If you are looking for any articles on a particular EU law topic...

Encore Discovery can be used to do a basic search for journal articles on EU law, but for technical reasons it does not search all of our e-resources, and it only searches Westlaw UK on site at IALS (see 'More Information' button for Encore Full Text Discovery, at

For a wide-ranging literature search, try the following databases individually (all are on the IALS Law Databases page, except Find-eR, which is a free web resource):

Westlaw UK: full-text articles or abstracts from UK and European/international law journals

Westlaw International Materials: full-text articles from European, international and US law journals

Lexis®Library: full-text articles or abstracts from UK, European/international and (via Sources - International Content) US law journals

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (part of HeinOnline): index covering journals from non-common law jurisdictions, plus international and comparative law journals; links to full-text articles (if available) on HeinOnline

Find-eR, the European Commission's library catalogue: indexes journal articles from a range of European jurisdictions; filter search results by Resource Type 'Articles'; full text not available to external users

HeinOnline's Law Journals Library: more than 3,000 full-text journals, mainly published in the US, but including a substantial number of articles on EU law

If you are looking for a specific article...
First find the journal on the Library CatalogueIf it is available online, there should be a link on the catalogue record; follow the link, then drill down to the year/volume required.

If you need more help...
See our research guide, Finding Journal Articles. 


Encore Discovery can be used to do a basic search within our e-book holdings, but for technical reasons it does not cover everything that we have. Individual e-books are listed on the classic Library Catalogue, but the classic catalogue does not search within e-books, it only searches their titles, subject headings and (where available) contents lists.

Instead of using Encore, you can search e-book collections one at a time. The following collections, all accessible via the IALS Law Databases page, include a substantial number of titles focusing on EU law:  

Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO)

Brill Online 



Legal updates

Practical Law has an EU law section with legal updates, practice notes and other material designed with practitioners in mind.