Discover how to power your criminal case research
You have been provided with instructions to advise generally or on a particular aspect of a case. As case papers often arrive with limited time to prepare prior to the trial beginning, you need to research all aspects of the case efficiently to be ready for trial the next day.
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Identify the issues
You have limited time to get up to speed on the case, and the related law and any procedural or evidential issues that may be involved. Your instructing solicitor would like your opinion on the correct evidential or procedural approach to take or the merits or availability of a proposed defence.
- Use Westlaw UK’s primary source materials such as case law, legislation, journals and authoritative commentary content from Sweet & Maxwell to conduct deep research on points pertinent to your case.
- Practical Law’s current awareness provides you with regular updates on the changes within your particular speciality, ensuring you are informed of any recent developments.
- Westlaw UK Insight and Practical Law case notes offer a perfect starting point for your advice on evidence, procedure or merits, providing an authoritative yet succinct overview of topics of law with links to related cases, legislation and commentary.
Now you’re fully on top of the case and have identified all the relevant matters subject to any clarification you may need to obtain. You may choose to test the client account by posing relevant questions and also provide prospects of success.
- When preparing for your conference you can create your scheme of issues using Sweet & Maxwell commentary titles such as Archbold and Phipson on Evidence as well as the case reports on Westlaw UK. You can then use Practical Law's practice notes and current awareness to check for any recent developments to ensure you haven't missed something of relevance.
As a barrister your reputation is everything and in court you can’t risk missing the slightest detail.
- When creating your skeleton argument, rely on Westlaw UK’s current and authoritative case law and legislation. Set case alerts on Westlaw UK to make sure that you’re always using the latest good law and never miss a new development.
- Appeal tracker on Westlaw UK allows you to track cases on appeal to the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) and Supreme Court. You can easily identify all outstanding appeals from your search results.
- Prepare your arguments for trial using the essential tools of Sweet & Maxwell commentary titles Archbold and Phipson on Evidence alongside Practical Law current awareness and practice notes which will ensure you have the latest material in a readily digestible format to tackle any procedural, evidential or substantive issue that arises.
You need to be prepared to be able to act and reply to any issue that may arise in court.
- If a point arises during the course of trial, rely on Sweet & Maxwell commentary titles such as Archbold and the White Book- to assist you in quickly locating the point or the principle which you can use to resolve the particular issue.
- For more complex cases where short adjournments are given, Westlaw UK and Practical Law are always available, allowing you to conduct additional research for skeleton arguments, in court, at home or on the move.
Whether you are diversifying your practice and need an accessible, authoritative overview of an area of law, or you simply want expertly authored updates on your existing specialism, Practical Law can help.
Daniel Greenberg, Parliamentary Lawyer, talks about the risk of not using fully up-to-date legal research and relying on unreliable sources, comparing free online research tools with the authoritative cases and legislation on Westlaw UK.
Practising the law? Think Practical Law. No longer considered just for solicitors, may barristers are now looking to Practical Law to save them time and get up to speed quickly on new areas of law.