Making historical law reports more widely available

25 Aug

Sterling work by the Scottish Council of Law Reporting (SCLR) has enabled historical but still cited Scottish law reports to be accessed online.

The SCLR has provided electronic versions of reports in Morison’s Dictionary - with Brown’s Supplement - and in the Hailes and Elchies collections.

The reports can be found on the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) website at They have also been offered free of charge to commercial legal information vendors.

In addition, the SCLR has completed the data capture of the Scottish Appeal Cases (mostly civil appeals to the House of Lords from 1707 to 1873) and Jury Court Reports (1815-1830). Some of the reports are extremely rare in hard copy, and BAILII plans to upload the material over the next few months.

Kenneth Campbell, QC, SCLR vice chairman, said: “The Faculty has been able to assist the Council with this project in a number of ways. We facilitated the use of a copy of the 22 volumes of Morison's Dictionary from the estate of the late Lord Clyde for the project, while the forthcoming Scottish Appeal Cases and Jury Court Reports have been captured from material held in the Advocates Library.

"In a number of areas of legal practice, older sources remain important but are not readily available online. I am pleased that the Faculty has been able to help the Scottish Council of Law Reporting widen access to these materials as part of its project to improve access to the richness of Scotland's legal heritage.”