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Law - LLB and other law degrees (1st Year Support): Finding Law Reports

Research assistance, subject guides and useful library resources for first year law students, compiled by the Faculty of Law librarians

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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)

 

Lists

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.

Links

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

South African Databases for Case Law:

South African Law Reports

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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.

Research Support

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 Links

 
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.