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A new way to find case law in the UK

What: In April 2022, the National Archives has created a new repository for caselaw called Find Case Law bringing the publication of statute  and common law under one roof.

Where: www.caselaw.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Who: The National Archives, known for the much-loved legislation.gov.uk, and @NickWest’s MdRxTech, a Mishcon de Reya’s spin-off,who were awarded the £110k contract by the National Archives to enrich create judgments that can be searched judgments, identifying relevant names, citations etc.

Why: Until now, the Ministry of Justice has paid the charity BAILII £50,000 a year to provide a judgment database. Judgments were received from the courts by email, meaning cases/emails sometimes slipped through the gaps and BAILII published many less cases than the commercial publishers.  As a common law system, this was widely considered A Problem.

How: Starting this month, all judgments should now be uploaded through the Transfer Digital Records service for public bodies.  They can be accessed via the website or via their API.

Don’t say: “It only goes back to 2003?”  Yes, but its only in Alpha, more judgements will be loaded over the year

Do say: “What about BAILII?”  Its not going anywhere, not least as Find Case Law only provides judgments for England & Wales whereas BAILII has Scottish judgments too.


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