European Collection

The European collection was established with the UK's accession to the European Union in 1973. It provides coverage of EU law, and basic coverage of the law of the member states. Materials are collected in English where available, however, some titles are held in German or French to increase coverage. Following the Agreement on the European Economic Area in 1994, the scope of EU law has widened to include all the EFTA countries except Switzerland. The UK is also a member of the Council of Europe and influenced by decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, so the collection includes some materials relating to the Court. Further materials on human rights can be found at Gray’s Inn, who specialise in the subject. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are part of the EU for certain purposes only, and are not included here but are covered by Lincoln's Inn.

The collection includes various editions of EU primary legislation, along with secondary legislation (regulations, directives and decisions) as found in the Official Journal of the European Union, which is held in print through 2013 when the electronic version was authenticated as producing legal effects. Annotated legislation can be found in the Encyclopædia of European Union Law. There are also codes and official journals from several member states available in the collection.

The library holds the official Reports of Cases Before the Court of Justice and the General Court (the European Court Reports) from the Court of Justice of the European Union. These are supplemented by several unofficial series, including: Common Market Law Reports (which covers selected cases only), European Law Reports of Cases in the UK and Ireland and International Litigation Procedure. There are also several series devoted to the laws of member states, such as European Commercial Cases which contains, in English, reports and digests of selected cases before national courts. Some key law reports from member states of the EU, such as the German series Neue Juristische Wochenschrift are also held. The official Reports of Judgments and Decisions from the European Court of Human Rights is also available, along with related law reports focusing on human rights. The library also holds European Current Law, which records legal developments throughout Europe.

The European textbook collection includes general texts and works on specific aspects of EU law such as banking law, competition law and free movement of persons. There are also a selection of textbooks providing commentary on the law of many of the member states, and a separate section of textbooks covering Human Rights.

Major European journals of EU law are collected by the library, as well as a selection of journals on more specialist subjects, such as European Competition Law Review or European Intellectual Property Review. Some key titles from member states are also available, such as Recueil Dalloz.

Several subscription databases such as Justis, Lawtel, Lexis Nexis and Westlaw supplement the European materials held in print or freely available online.

For further information on the collection or on conducting legal research, please see the library guide which can be downloaded from this page as a PDF document. For assistance with specialised EU enquires, contact our EU librarian by email at:, or by phone on: 020 7427 4830.