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Law - Guide for Non-Law Students: Books

Legal Research Resources for Non-Law Students


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Importance of consulting books when doing research

"When faced with a legal problem or question, a recent textbook on that subject is the most convenient and practical way to get  a summary discussion of the legal principles that apply to that issue.  The author (or authors) provides an exposition of the law with reference to relevant constitutional and statutory principles, the common law, judicial precedent , customs, customary law, international law and foreign law. 

When deciding whether to consider a particular book, it is imperative to consider the date of the publication.  As laws develop and change, books may become outdated and lose their relevance.  This is why textbooks periodically have newer editions published.  This is the only way to keep the publication relevant in that field of study". Meintjies-Van der Walt Introduction to South African Law (2019) 174


Reputable Links

Reputable Internet links to SA and international publishers as well as SA university libraries can be found on the Reputable Links tab


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The University of Johannesburg Library proudly offers a brand new information accessing tool called LEAN Library.

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Books and Loose-Leaf Publications Electronically Available on Law Databases

South African:

See list 


Click on theInfo icon | Myiconfindernext to a particular database link to view the database description

  • Legal Classics

Includes thousands of works from some of the greatest legal minds in history. 

  • Hague Academy Collected Courses Online / Recueil des cours en ligne

This database includes the complete archive of collected Hague courses dating back to their inception in 1923, twelve periodic indexes, the official publications from the Workshops organized by the Academy, and a collection of works published by the Centre for Studies and Research.

Looseleaf publications in electronic format in areas such as corporate and commercial law, litigation, labour law and transport law.

  • Books

Full text electronically available

e-Books and Collections

Electronic books can be searched for in the UJ Library Catalogue (UJLink). 

Some electronic titles also form part of collections available on the UJ databases.


e-Books available on Multidisciplinary Databases that contain Law Books

Library e-book guide

Research Support

Find search guides, training videos and tutorials to assist you with finding and conducting research with Books on the Research Support tab.

UJ Library Catalogue

How to Use UJLink (UJ Library Catalogue) to find a book on Level 6 (Law Library)

How to find Course Reserves (prescribed text books)