You can now find us at, the new home of Bodleian Libraries blogs.  If you follow us by RSS, or through our Twitter, Facebook and website updates you don’t need to do anything – all these links will be updated.  If you want to follow our posts by email though, you’ll need to sign up again at our new home.  You’ll also need to update any bookmarks from the wordpress address to the bodleian blogs address.

See you over there soon!

With Mothering Sunday this weekend, I thought it would be nice to take a quick walk through some of the traditional gifts for the day. Sadly I couldn’t find any legal references to Simnel Cake, though I’d had hopes for IP-related possibilities . Still, as Sping is allegedly here, we’ll take a look instead at wild flowers, a traditional gift for mothers on this day.

So, what would the position be if you were out walking and decided to pick a bunch of flowers as a present? A quick look at the ‘Wild Plants’ section of the Open Spaces and Countryside volume of Halsbury’s Laws (Volume 78, 5th ed., also available on LexisLibrary) points us in the right direction: the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. According to Section 13, Protection of Wild Plants:

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part, if any person—
(a) intentionally picks, uproots or destroys any wild plant included in Schedule 8; or
(b) not being an authorised person, intentionally uproots any wild plant not included in that Schedule,
he shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this Part, if any person—
(a) sells, offers or exposes for sale, or has in his possession or transports for the purpose of sale, any live or dead wild plant included in Schedule 8, or any part of, or anything derived from, such a plant; or
(b) publishes or causes to be published any advertisement likely to be understood as conveying that he buys or sells, or intends to buy or sell, any of those things,
he shall be guilty of an offence.
(3) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1), a person shall not be guilty of an offence by reason of any act made unlawful by that subsection if he shows that the act was an incidental result of a lawful operation and could not reasonably have been avoided.
(4) In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (2)(a), the plant in question shall be presumed to have been a wild plant unless the contrary is shown.

If you take a quick look at the section on (or your preferred subscription database showing amended legislation) you will notice that there are two different versions of the legislation available, applying to different geographic extents. The situation has arisen with devolution as the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament amend, repeal or keep legislation originally passed as UK legislation in Westminster.

Geographic extent of legislation

Geographic extent of legislation

In this instance, the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 has added some amendments to the section. Different databases indicate this differently. Both and Westlaw have multiple texts showing the different versions; in Westlaw you can also switch to a ‘previous’ version before the texts diverged. Lexis marks up a single version of the text, which in this case makes it clear that the Scottish amendments have simply added some words to the continuing England & Wales version – but it’s fair to say this display method can get very confusing for a more complex set of amendments, and you’ll need to read the notes at the end of the section for clarity! And after that short detour, entirely suitable for a walk…

…back to our wild flowers. Having looked at Section 13, you’ll see that not all wild flowers are included in the ban on picking, only those in Schedule 8. If you’re not clear on the difference between picking and uprooting it might be worth checking section 27 (the section also clarifies


angry flowers by CARPE-DIEM-ABAETERNO (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 license)

that a ‘wild plant’ is one which is growing wild, rather than one which has lost its temper). So, on to Schedule 8, which gives the scientific names of the protected species. The modern system of scientific naming which allows this confident identification began in the seventeenth century, and you can see a Bodleian library’s introduction to the history of the scheme here. Just to help most of us out, the common name of the flowers is also given in the Schedule, but as the note makes clear “The common name or names given in the first column of this Schedule are included by way of guidance only; in the event of any dispute or proceedings, the common name or names shall not be taken into account.” Although if, like me, you’re still not sure you would recognise Whorled Solomon’s-Seal, Martin’s Ramping Fumitory or any of the other plants listed here a quick look on SOLO will find you several reference guides in the Radcliffe Science Library, Sherardian Library and Bodleian Stacks which can be consulted. The good news is that since these are rare and protected plants, most wild flowers you come across should be fine to pick (though not uproot – 13 1(b)). Do be careful on your walk though; case law suggests that if you should fall over a cliff because you get too near the edge while picking your flowers your insurance provider won’t have to pay out (Walker v Railway Passengers Assurance Co (1910) 129 LT Jo 64, CA.)!

Book: The magnificent Flora Graeca

Bod Publishing: Flora Graeca

And finally, something of a stretch, but too good to leave out – if looking at all those reference books to identify your flowers has given you a taste for botanic illustrations, you might enjoy ‘flicking through’ Oxford’s copy of the gorgeous Flora Graeca . Sadly, this volume of Greek flowers won’t help you on your walk through the British countryside, but the Bodleian shop does sell a much-illustrated story of the Flora Graeca – perhaps an alternative gift for Mother’s Day?

<<!سلام ,نوروز مبارک>>

Today, 20th March, is the Hormoz (the first day of a Persian month) of Farvardin, and marks the first day of the Iranian new year or ‘nowruz’. Said to have been founded by the prophet Zoroaster himself, this celebration of the ‘new day’ is one of the holiest days in the Zoroastrian calendar, and is still celebrated worldwide today.

This year the LawBod Blog seeks to mark Nowruz in its own particular way – by examining some of our resources available on the legal jurisdiction of Iran (and using this as a handy excuse to remind you that we collect material for a wide range of subjects!).Iranian law books on shelf.

Nestled amongst our ‘rest of the world’ collection on Floor 1 of the law library, you could be forgiven for overlooking the fairly small number of books which deal specifically with Iranian law as this is not an area which has received a lot of serious academic attention in the legal sphere. Whilst simple guides to the Iranian legal system, the constitutional structure of the executive, and the varying role of the judiciary can be found online, the researching scholar could do far worse than to consult two detailed books by Mohammadi: Judicial Reform and Reorganization in 20th Century Iran (2008) [Iran 510 M697a] and Constitutional Law in Iran (2012) [Iran 510 M697b].

Searching for primary sources on the law of Iran, it helps to have some background knowledge to the country’s constitutional history. The Constitutional Revolution of 1906-7 paved the way for the creation of a new Iranian constitution and formation of the Majlis (parliament). With the rise of the Pahlavi kings, Iran became a constitutional monarchy de jure, but with a powerful head of state who controlled the executive. The Islamic Revolution of 1979 led to the writing of a new constitution; one which would transform the judiciary, government and executive with the hope of creating a new culturally, economically and politically independent Iran.

The Bodleian Libraries do hold copies of this constitution – both in farsi and english – but sadly none are held within the law library. Translated versions are also available online, for example from the Iran Chamber Society.

The attempt since the revolution of 1979 to amalgamate shari’a law – a law which is predominantly a jurist’s law rather than a judge’s law – has led to the creation of law codes. Both a Civil Code (translated edition available within the law library) and a Penal Code (available online from here, or here) form the legislative basis for many judicial proceedings in Iran.

This blog post ends with a word of warning: Iran has undergone a lot of political change in the past fifty years, and much of what is written – especially on the internet – cannot be considered without betraying a form of political bias. For the legal scholar researching on Iran, a familiarity with the political history is still a necessity.

Some other resources:

Nowruz entry in Encyclopaedia Iranica

Islamic Republic’s Penal Code from 1982 (revised in 1989)

Iran Heritage Foundation

Haleem, M., A. Sherif & K. Daniels (eds), Criminal Justice in Islam: Judicial Procedure in the Shari’a, (London, 2003)

Jany, J., Judging in the Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian Legal Traditions, (Farnham, 2012)

Mallat, C., Introduction to Middle Eastern Law, (Oxford, 2007)

Peters, R., Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law, (Cambridge, 2005)

coloured eggs

Image via Pixabay

Happy holidays! If you’ve left Oxford for the vacation, you can still access many of our resources, including databases, e-journals, e-books and past exam papers through SOLO and/or Oxlip+.  If you get stuck during the day you can ask SOLO Live Help for, well, help.  Otherwise, email us at any time on (though if you email at 3am we may not get back to you for several hours…).


All our databases – Westlaw, LexisLibrary, HeinOnline, Justcite, [your favourite database here] – are accessible wherever you have an internet connection.  To access them, log in to Oxlip+ or SOLO, and search for the database of your choice.  A few databases do have slightly different requirements; if you’re not sure what they are take a look at our Legal databases page.

Login to SOLO

Login to SOLO

Login to OxLIP+

Login to OxLIP+

A number of databases have really good journal collections, including HeinOnline, Westlaw and LexisLibrary.  It’s easier to search in OU e-journals for your articles than try to remember which journal is where though!  Just remember to search for the journal title, rather than the article title.  If your preferred search method is Google, you may find that there are some things you can’t access outside Oxford which you could while you were here.  To fix this in your settings, check our handy guide to Google Scholar, here.  And finally, don’t forget LawBod4Students, for articles not online anywhere else.

e-books on SOLO

e-books on SOLO

“Articles are all very well but I need more!”  And handily, we have a growing collection of books online for you. Sadly, not all of these are visible on SOLO, and you really need to know that Benjamin’s Sale of Goods, Chitty on Contract, Dicey & Morris Conflict of Laws, Goff & Jones Unjust Enrichment, the White Book and many more are on Westlaw under the Books tab.  You’ll also find some titles in HeinOnline and LexisLibrary, but anywhere you see ‘Find Online’ in SOLO you should be able to access the e-book.  As above, you’ll need to log in to SOLO with your Single Sign On details if you’re not in Oxford.

Exam papers
Okay, so exam papers are actually a bit of an exception, since you’ll find these through Weblearn at, but you’ll still need your SSO.

Anything else?
Lots!  Take a look at our libguides to find details of more specific resources.
Finally, if you are in Oxford over the vacation, we’re still here!  Vacation opening hours start from Monday 17th March: Mon-Fri 9.00-19.00, Sat 10.00-16.00, Sun closed.  See you soon!

The home page for the journal section of the platform offers a “new prominent search tool that is easy to use.” (At the far right hand end of this search box there is a link to the Advanced Search Screen should you prefer.)

New style basic search on home page

New style basic search on home page

The results for a basic search using just “antitrust” are – as one would expect from such an ill thought-out “strategy” – too many (1,000 hits on 34 pages) to be anything other than daunting. (“The relevancy [of the result list] is based on author’s name and the title.” Being a simple soul, I would have preferred by date latest or grouped by authors (arranged alphabetically) or by journal title or …)

Too many good things

Too many good things

But part of the improvements of this upgrade is a new “Edit” tool link which helps you do a search within refining exercise. If, that is, you spot the link in the first place – for my less than 20/20 vision I don’t think it is as prominent as it could be – but it is near the top right of the result screen.

Top right corner of result screen

Top right corner of result screen.

Clicking ‘Edit’ basically takes you to the Advanced Search – but helpfully retaining whatever term you had initially used. (If you mistakenly click on  the more prominent – at least to my eyes – Advanced Search link you have to start from scratch – nothing is retained from your initial attempt.)

Edit link helps you to Search within

Edit link helps you to Search within by retaining details of your initial search term

The other feature of this update is the announcement that Kluwer International Law Journals are now discoverable via Google Scholar searches.

Members of OU Law Faculty are reminded that, should they wish to make the most of Google Scholar when not on the OU network/domain,  they should use the Google Scholar Settings, then the Library Links options to establish their connection to Oxford University, and the all important ability (while holding a current OSS) to read articles in journals to which the Law Bod has a current subscription.

Scholar Settings - then Library Links - University of Oxford

Scholar Settings – then Library Links – University of Oxford

This will ensure that the results have the comforting Find it @ Oxford icons – should the link to the actual article not work, Find it @ Oxford will help you track your way to it via the journal in OU e-journals.

Improved results

Improved results

It became apparent some years ago that in the brave new world of digital media, existing intellectual property rules weren’t quite keeping up.  A plethora of new case law, legislation and regulation (both UK and EU) continues to emerge to address this situation, but how on earth are you supposed to know what’s going on?

In the UK, the Hargreaves Review published in 2011 included a number of recommendations on What Should Be Done, most of which the UK government accepted.  A handy page of the Intellectual Property Office website provides a timeline of actions taken in response to the Hargreaves Review, and provides an excellent starting point for your awareness of ‘what’s going on’.  The IPO also provides news, which you can follow for further updates on official developments, but I have to admit it’s not my preferred reading.  There are a number of excellent blogs covering wide-ranging IP issues – you’ll find some of them listed by the IPO itself at  A couple of personal favourites, frequently updated, with alerts, wide-ranging comment, and numerous links to supporting documents are The IPKat blog and The 1709 Copyright Blog.  For those wanting to follow the legal journals, subscription services such as Lawtel can provide a subject-based alerting service, emailing you on a daily or weekly basis with a list of new IP articles published, as well as new cases and legislation if you wish.  Oxford students and academics wanting to make use of this option should contact the Legal Research Librarian ( for a username and password.

Returning to our Hargreaves review timeline, a quick glance reveals the range of material with which we might want to keep up.  First on the list is Bills, specifically the Intellectual Property Bill currently making its way through Parliament.  The best way to follow the progress of a bill is in fact through the Parliament website, where each Bill before either house has its own page.  You can find the IP Bill at with links to related documents such as explanatory notes and research papers, clear indication of which stage the bill has reached, and an option on the right to set up an alert for its progress.

IP Bill alerts

Alerts available from the Parliament website

But what about once the Bill has received Royal Assent?  Our observant law students will know that Royal Assent is not necessarily the same as commencement, but how can you check whether the legislation sections in which you are interested have come into force?

Is it in force feature from Westlaw

Is it in Force? (Westlaw)

Lexis and Westlaw can both provide a handy visual check for this in their Status Snapshot and Arrangement of Act respectively.  If we take a quick look at the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, for example, we can see that most sections relating to copyright are in force, except s.74 which has a little way to go.  A subject-based alert including legislation from a service such as Lawtel, LexisLibrary or Westlaw should also alert you to changes in the status of the law.  These services should alert you not only to new Acts, but also to new Statutory Instruments.  A quick glance at the Hargreaves Review timeline from the IPO should tell you how important SIs are to the changing landscape of IP law!

A closer look will show that the government is also consulting on numerous changes.  You can see government consultations through the portal, but bear in mind that consultations are hosted by individual departments, so you may find them more accessible via the department.  In this instance we might want to look at the consultations page on the IPO website – the closing date for consultation on Copyright works: seeking the lost, about the licensing of orphan works, is today (details at

And then are we up-to-date with it all?  Well, not quite…  the EU has also been active in this area, and on the subject of orphan works, the UK government is implementing EU Directive 2012/28 ‘on certain permitted uses of orphan works’.  Last week the Council of Europe formally adopted a new directive ‘on collective management of copyright related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online users in the internal market’, which will have to be incorporated into domestic law within the next two years.  Cases and consultations feature here too, with a decision in Case C-466/12 Svensson two weeks ago which clarified the law on hyperlinks (essentially, linking to a work already publicly available online is not an infringement of copyright as there is no ‘new public’… *author looks at the number of links in this post and gives a sigh of relief*).  And for those interested in changes to EU copyright rules, the public consultation on the review of EU copyright rules has been extended to 5th March (it was due to close on 5th February), with details available at  If all this EU legal information leaves you a little confused,  the Law Bod offers a ‘Book a Librarian’ service.

And finally: for general notes on keeping up and current awareness don’t forget you can find information and ‘how to’ notes in our Research Skills libguide under ‘Keeping up to date’.

Justcite logo

Oxford readers are no doubt familiar with subscription database Justcite, sister site to Justis, as a citator tool – ie. it tells you where a case was reported; whether it has been subsequently applied, followed, distinguished or overruled; what cases and legislation were cited by your original case; and links through to the full text.  Particularly for those of you who enjoy thinking about these things graphically, the Justcite precedent map also allows you to see all these case connections at a glance, and to link through to related cases quickly and easily.

Justcite precedent map

Justcite precedent map

And now we have another new feature to focus our analysis: Citations in Context.  When you click on the menu option for subsequent cases you will see your usual list of cases organised by treatment – but the eagle-eyed among you will notice some small speech bubbles.

Citations in context

Citations in Context

You’ll notice they also mark the number of paragraphs which refer to your original case, so you can get some idea of whether it was relatively unimportant or the main topic of discussion.  When you click on one of these speech bubbles it will expand the view to show the relevant excerpt from the citing case.

Expanded view of citations in context

Citations in Context expanded

You can read the paragraph(s) that actually refers to your case, see whether it discusses the point of law in which you are interested, and form your own opinion of the judgment if necessary.   No more wondering whether the case is on topic, and ploughing your way through an entire transcript to find what the judge actually said!


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