The Library Enquiry Service is staffed by experienced, professional librarians during Library opening hours.
Library guides offering further information on the services and facilities we offer can be downloaded from this page.
Printing and photocopying
There are 3 photocopiers on the main floor of the Library. Photocopies are made using a photocopying card which is available from the enquiry desk and costs 80p. Credit can be added to the photocopying card with a debit/credit card at the enquiry desk or with cash at the top-up point in the centre of the Library. The charge per page is 8p.
The Library does not have a CLA license, so copying is only permitted for the statutory exemptions of judicial proceedings and private study.
Printing from the 9 networked PCs on the main floor of the Library is available using a photocopying card. The charge is 5p per page.
The Library is primarily a reference library, so borrowing is restricted to the following:
- Barristers who are members of the Inn
- Barristers and their pupils who have chambers in the Inn
Any item may be borrowed overnight or for the weekend, except for a few heavily used items from behind the enquiry desk that are marked “not for overnight loan”.
During our full hours, books may be taken after 6 pm and must be returned by 9.30 am the following day (or Monday if borrowed on a Friday).
During vacations books may be taken after 5.30 pm and must be returned by 10 am the following day
If the Library is open on a Saturday, overnight loans are suspended on the preceding Friday. Books can be taken out on Saturday evening for the remainder of the weekend between 4.45 pm and 5 pm (when the Library closes).
Loans for photocopying
If making copies would not be a breach of copyright, then items may be borrowed for up to two hours for photocopying in chambers when the extent, in aggregate, exceeds 100 pages.
Internet access is freely available for both personal use and legal research on nine PCs in the library.
Wi-fi access is available for readers with their own laptops and also on the three stand-alone PCs near the west window in the Library. This is for general internet and email usage – there is no access to the Library’s subscription databases or networked services. Ask at the desk for the security password to access it for the first time (your laptop will save the password for future use). If you want to use one of the stand-alone PCs, book at the enquiry desk first.
Three PCs for word-processing are available on the main floor of the Library. Sessions of up to an hour and a half can be booked on the day at the desk or by telephone. Printing is available using a photocopying card and costs 5p per page.
The Library subscribes to an extensive range of on-line databases. Other than the Catalogue, these cannot be accessed remotely. The main ones are:
The full text of a wide range of law reports and unreported cases (back to 1980), materials from legislation in force as amended, Halsburys Laws, some journals and many news sources. As well as full text case law coverage, included are All England Direct, which provides summaries of recent unreported cases, and Case Search, which provides digests of cases from the earliest times to the present, based on data from the 100-plus volumes of The Digest.
Combines the data from Current Law and the Legal Journals Index with the full text of law reports (including the pre-1865 English Report), unreported cases, journals and legislation as amended.
This provides summaries of reported and unreported cases, updated daily, with links to the full text of transcripts.
Justis Statutes and SIs
The full text of statutes from 1235, as enacted whether repealed or in force, and SIs likewise from 1948.
Electronic Immigration Network
The full text of Immigration Appeal Tribunal decisions and other immigration materials.
A fully searchable archive of back runs of academic law journals – the bulk American law reviews, but with a number of English, Commonwealth and international titles.
The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting have their own online service providing the full text of The Law Reports, the Weekly Law Reports and their other series. The reports will continue to be available on Westlaw and Lexis, but the ICLR service also includes data from the “Red Indexes”, covering other leading series. ICLR Online is also a handy way of focussing a search just on leading authorities. PDFs of the printed reports are provided.
The library has access to the parliamentary database that has been prepared by the House of Commons Library since 1979.
Texts on CD-ROM
Holdings include Butterworths Taxation Service (which incorporates the full Inland Revenue Manuals), and the company law services from CCH and Tolley.
Library research guides
Anyone trying to track superseded versions of the Government’s advice during the COVID-19 pandemic will have encountered one of the major bugbears of internet research – how to find copies of superseded official advice. With this in mind, the Library has produced a guide on those websites which archive material which has been freely published on the web and then withdrawn.