The quickest way to access Westlaw is at https://library.rgu.ac.uk/westlaw-database.
You will first need to log in using your RGU details.
If this is your first time visiting Westlaw, you will need to create a Thomson Reuters account to get access.
You only need to sign in using your RGU details in future.
Signing in from Westlaw Homepage
You can then sign in using your Moodle details.
UK Law Cases
If you have the citation of the case, you can type it (without punctuation) into the Citation box and click Search.
The case should appear in your results.
If you have the party names of the case, you can type them (without punctuation) into the Parties box and click Search.
The case should appear in your results.
To search for topics by keyword, enter them into the Subject/Keyword box and click Search.
A list of all cases relevant to your keywords should appear.
Click More Options below the search button to see more search fields you can use.
You can search for particular courts, or citations within cases.
In your results, you can view the case analysis or law report online, or download the document in PDF format.
If you know the title of the legislation, type it (without punctuation) into the Title box and click Search.
The legislation should appear in your results.
In Westlaw, there are icons that show the status of the legislation.
Selecting More options lets you search for legislation by keyword, jurisdiction or status.
Click the title of the legislation and select a section to view full text.
Some legislation is available to download in full as a PDF. If this is the case, you will see a grey PDF icon next to its title.
You can also download PDFs of parts of other legislation. Navigate to the section you wish to download and click the download link to the right of the page.
You can enter your keyword(s) into the Subject/Keyword box and click Search.
If you know the name of the article, author or journal, you can type it into the relevant box and click Search.
More options lets you search for articles by date or legislation, cases and organisation(s) cited.
Once you've made an initial search, you can filter results using the options to the left of the page.
You can filter by topic, date, jurisdiction, availability, document type and publication.
Clicking Select Multiple Filters will allow you to apply several filters at once.
For full text articles, remember to apply the Full text available filter.
To download one or more articles, tick the box to the left hand side of the article(s) and click the download button at the top of your search.
You can access full text online by clicking the Full text option beneath the article's title.
You can download the article, cited articles or the journal issue by selecting the PDF icon to the right of the screen.
You may come across relevant articles that are not available in full text.
This does not always mean you cannot access the material. Try the following steps to see if the information is available elsewhere:
- LibrarySearch: If you know the journal name, you can look in LibrarySearch. We may have the journal in print, or through another database.
- Article Request: Online Learning students can request up to one article from a print journal issue. See our full range of options for online learners for more information.
- Google Scholar: You can perform a Google Scholar search for the article name. See our grey literature guide for more information.
Westlaw offers a collection of legal texts in E-Book format.
To access the E-Books section, navigate to the top of the page where it says Viewing: Westlaw UK.
You can enter keywords into the search box at the top of the screen.
You can filter results by topic, jurisdiction or publisher with the filters on the left of the page.
Remember to click Select multiple filters to apply more than one filter.
Once you have accessed a book, you can download a chapter/section in PDF format.
When viewing the full text of a chapter, select the download link to the right of the page.
You can add a book to your favourites by clicking the star icon next to the book's title in the table of contents.
You can access favourites by clicking the Favourite Books tab in the Books homepage.
You can enter keywords into the Search box to search for EU materials.
You can also browse documents by document type (cases, legislation, treaties etc.)
Selecting the Advanced Search option for any category allows you to search for documents by date, keyword, citation, parties etc.
You can download search results by ticking the boxes, then selecting download at the top of your results.
Westlaw offers some US law materials, including some law cases and journals.
You can search for US material using the Search bar at the top of the screen.
You can also browse jurisdiction, practice area or document type.
Selecting a category gives you further options. For example, selecting cases allows you to narrow by federal court/circuit or by state.
The Advanced link next to the search bar will take you to a search where you can search by keyword, date or citation.
Knowing the citation of a case, or the title of the legislation is the quickest route to full text.
When viewing full text of any document, click the download link at the top-right of the page.
Other International Law
Westlaw offers law from other international jurisdictions, including some cases and journals.
Westlaw's International page will open in a new tab in your browser.
You can search using keywords, or browse by jurisdiction or document type.
Jurisdiction will give options to search through documents such as cases, legislation or journals.
Document type will allow you to narrow results by jurisdiction.
Clicking Advanced next to the Search bar will let you search by keyword, date or citation.
Knowing the citation for a case, or the title of the legislation is the quickest route to full text.
When viewing the full text, click the download link at the top-right of the page.
In Westlaw, you can apply search modifiers to broaden or narrow your search.
& or AND
e.g. health & safety; health AND safety
This will return results for health, safety, as well as health and safety together.
This will return results that contain the phrase "health and safety" as it appears.
Universal Character (*)
This will search for legalisation and legalization; or woman/women.
Root expander (!)
This will search for journalist, journalists, journalism or journalistic simultaneously.
Pound symbol (#)
The above example will look for journalist only, excluding journalists etc. from the search.
e.g. journalist %defamation
Grammatical Connectors (/s; +s; /p; +p)
e.g. defamation +p claim
So the word journalist would need to appear 5 words in front of the word data.
Title Search TI()
This will look for articles that have the words defamation and act in the title.
For more advice on searching databases, take a look at our Search Techniques page.
Index of Legal Terms
To access Jowitt, Stroud or Osborn Legal Dictionaries, hover over More and select Index of Legal Terms.
You can search for definitions of legal terms across these three legal dictionaries, or within legislation, cases and journals.