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Law - European Union Research: Finding EU Case Law

European Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice is the highest court authority within the European Union. Case reports for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) are printed in a publication called Reports of Cases before the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance (Law Library KJE 5472 .C68), which is often called the “European Court Reports.”  The Court of First Instance was created to ease the case load of the Court of Justice and often hears preliminary matters.  The title of the European Court Reports varies over the years as sometimes the Court of First Instance cases were published in the same volume as the Court of Justice and sometimes separately.

Finding European Court of Justice Decisions

Case reports for the European Court of Justice and other EU Courts are available via the European Court of Justice website, Eur-Lex, Lexis and Westlaw. 

You can access cases from 1997 to the present at the European Court of Justice home page.  Earlier cases are available at the Eur-Lex website (select “Case Law”). In Eur-Lex, access is by case number or by browsing by year.  Case law in Eur-Lex can be searched in the advanced feature, but searching EU cases on Lexis or Westlaw might be more desirable.

The full version of Lexis is particularly strong when it comes to foreign and international database sources.  To find case reports for the European Court of Justice in Lexis, from the main "Legal" tab, look under “Find Laws By Country  Or Region,” and then select “European Union.”  Finally, select “Case Law.”

There may be a lag time for new cases.  Try the EU news database on Lexis (search path: lexis legal tab>Find Laws by Country or Region>European Union>News>EU News.  Note there are other news databases available as well.

In Westlaw, try the Eu-CS-All database.  Add the European Union Tab (click on the “add a tab link” at the top right of the screen) for access to more databases.

European Union case law is also available via the Looseleaf service the European Union Law Reporter (Law Library KJE 924.E875 1997- formerly the Common Market Reporter).   Cases are bound in European Community Cases (KJE 924 .E87 Cases).

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