Internet Newsletter for Lawyers
Another in the series on publishers, movers and shakers online
ICLR was founded by judicial and government officials in 1865 as a "not for profit" publisher, and the first volumes of the Law Reports appeared in 1866 by which time there were over 400 subscribers at 5 guineas a year. In 1870 the Council was incorporated under the Companies Act with the object of "The preparation and publication, in a convenient form, at a moderate price, and under gratuitous professional control, of reports of judicial decisions of the superior and appellate courts in England." In 1970 the Council was registered as a Charity.
The Council now has subscribers in over 100 countries and its reports are published simultaneously in London, Delhi (for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) and Beijing for China except Hong Kong. The Council consists of members nominated by each of the 4 Inns of Court and by the General Council of the Bar. The two government law officers and the President of The Law Society are ex officio members. An executive committee sits once or twice a year and the full council meets once a year.
The Council is purposefully selective in choosing which cases to report selecting only those cases which set precedent, develop a point of law or raise interesting points from a legal perspective. All ICLR reporters are barristers or solicitors who are present in court for the hearing and handing down of judgment, the reports are submitted to the judges concerned for consideration prior to publication, and references and citations are carefully checked to ensure the highest levels of accuracy are maintained.
The Law Reports are the most authoritative reports and must always be cited in preference as required by the Supreme Court Practice Direction  1 WLR 194:
Citation of judgments in Court
3.1 For the avoidance of doubt, it should always be emphasised that both the High Court and the Court of Appeal require that where a case has been reported in the official Law Reports published by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales it must be cited from that source. Other series of reports for England and Wales may only be used when a case is not reported in the Law Reports." Lord Woolf CJ.
There are also CD-Rom and on-line editions of The Law Reports, The Weekly Law Reports and The Industrial Cases Reports, available via Justis (www.justis.com). The Law Reports Archive is also licensed to WestLaw, Lexis and Butterworths Direct.
The Industrial Cases Reports Express is designed to bring you previews of The Industrial Cases Reports before they become available in print form. They take the form of brief but considered summaries which give the ratio of the decision and are updated as soon as headnotes become available. This service is useful for keeping up to date with the very latest developments.
Martha Hawting is Marketing, Website and Education Co-ordinator at ICLR.
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