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What is a law report?
Law reports are publications that court judgments are published in. Law reports are accessible online through the databases linked below. You will find South African law reports on Jutastat Online and Lexis Library.
Not all court judgments are published in law reports. Judgments that are not published in law reports are referred to as unreported judgments. These are still available online, through the databases listed below, but only to a limited extent.
Court judgments are also known as case law and precedent. Law reports are primary sources.
For further reading on law reports, consult this publication: Beginners Guide for Law Students (chapter 3)
The lists below will assist you to locate South African, international and foreign law reports in the UJ Law Library and in the UJ Law Library's subscribed databases.
Click on thenext to a particular database link to view the database description
South African Databases for Case Law:
Jutastat Online (OpenAthens) This link opens in a new windowSouth African legal journals, law reports, legislation, government gazettes, reference works, legal manuals and commentaries. Includes case law and statutes from Zimbabwe.
Coverage varies according to title.
Lexis Library (OpenAthens) This link opens in a new windowSouth African legal journals, law reports, legislation, gazettes, reference works, textbooks, practitioners manuals and commentaries
Coverage varies according to title
South African Law Reports
LAW REPORTS BEFORE 1947
- Law reports before 1947 were published in separate volumes for each of the High Courts in the Cape Colony, Natal, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.
- Some of the earlier reports were published privately and are known by the person responsible for publishing the cases i.e. Watermeyer, Searle, Menzies and Buchanan.
Electronic copies of these cases are available on the Lexis Library database.
LAW REPORTS AFTER 1947
- Since 1947, the Provincial and Supreme Court law reports were gathered into one publication - the South African Law Reports
- Cases are published by Juta as a consolidated series known as the South African Law Reports (citation format is standardised)
- The All South African Law Reports is published by LexisNexis Butterworths
Electronic formats are available in the Jutastat Online and Lexis Library databases.
SPECIALIST LAW REPORT SERIES
Since the early 1990's several specialist law report series were published such as the South African Criminal Law Reports, the Butterworths Labour Law Reports and the Butterworths Constitutional Law Reports.
TO FIND THE SOUTH AFRICAN LAW REPORTS IN PRINT OR ELECTRONIC, CLICK ON ONE OF THE LINKS UNDER THE "LISTS" HEADING.
Find search guides, training videos and tutorials that will assist you with searching for court judgments on the Research Support page of this LibGuide.
Reputable Internet links to Legal Information Institute websites, as well as to South African and International courts' websites, can be found on the Reputable Links page of this LibGuide.