Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Law: Legal Dictionaries & Reference Works: Print and electronic resources

A brief guide to finding and using legal reference works

Reference resources such as , dictionaries, encyclopediae and thesauri etc. are a quick and easy way to:

- examine facts and statistics about the world

- decipher abbreviations and definitions

- gain an overview of a topic                                           

They can be really useful resources as you begin your background research into a topic, before you move on to more in depth research.  The availability of many of these resources in online format has made discovery a much quicker and easier process.

View the full Law Subject Guide for guidance on other legal materials

Where to start your search

Library Search

Search for textbooks, ebooks, journals, articles + more.  

Use Library Search LibGuide for guidance.

Legal Dictionaries

You can use Library Search to discover online and print legal dictionary titles available you you. 

The majority of the print legal dictionaries are shelved at KL 40 in the Law Library Reference Section - Bay 1 in the Law Library.

Examples include:

The Oxford Reference Online service also includes various legal dictionaries, that can be used for quick reference purposes. See the Oxford Dictionary of Law below, for illlustrative content, or to look up a quick definition.


Explore the full Oxford Reference Online service to see all the content that is available to you. 

Specialist Reference Works

As well as general reference works you will reference works which focus on particular legal topics or disciplines. Examples include the following.  There are many more! Library Search will help you to find these.

General Reference Works

There are many general reference works available to you at teh university, including language dictionaries, thesauri, biographies etc.

You can find out more via the Online Reference Resources LibGuide.

Halsbury's Laws of England

The encyclopedia is arranged alphabetically by topic and provides up to date commentary and links to relevant caselaw and legislation.

The online version via Lexis makes it easy for you to follow through references to relevant case law, legislation and commentary.

It also makes it easy to search for topics that straddle a range of legal areas.

The multi volume print version is also available for quick reference in Bay 1 of the Law Library.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Contact Us