Access to legal information during the Coronavirus pandemic

Having access to law books in a good library is vital for lawyers all over the world. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic means that many organisations have had to close their libraries whilst their country is in lock down.

The Coronavirus itself is having a devastating human impact which governments all over the world are trying to mitigate. Publishers and organizations have risen to this twin challenge and created online resources specifically related to Coronavirus, as well as making some of their online content, which is normally behind a pay wall, free to use, at least over the coming months.

Internet access is not a given and even where it exists, may not be reliable. However, here is a brief summary of online resources which we hope will be useful during these uncertain times. This list does not claim to be comprehensive, but it gives an overview of what is available from some of our most trusted sources.

Resources available during the Coronavirus pandemic

LexisNexis UK

LexisNexis UK has collated key Coronavirus guidance and queries on its blog, including related content from LexisNexis UK, Law360, MLex and Cordery. The blog is found here.

LexisNexis US

LexisNexis in the US has made Coronavirus related legal news and guidance freely available. The legal news service Law360 provides news stories which cover the Covid-19 impact on courts, legislation, court hearings, legal practice and global markets.

Lexis Practice Advisor has created a Coronavirus resource kit to assist US attorneys navigate through the impacts of Covid-19 across multiple practice areas including corporate governance, commercial transactions, data security, and employee benefits. Content includes impact analysis on commercial deals, forms and guides for employment contracts, and tracking of regulatory changes as they occur in the US.

For links to more information about both services, visit this page.

LexisNexis France

LexisNexis France has provided free access during the period of confinement to its latest news on how Coronavirus is being managed in France and its impact on the legal environment, including articles about the latest legislation and links to the relevant full texts.

You can access the content here.

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters has created a Covid-19 news hub, which provides the latest news stories and trends about the pandemic. Find the content here.

Thomson Reuter’s Practical Law has made available its Global Coronavirus Toolkit including practice notes, standard clauses, checklists etc relevant to lawyers in the UK, US, China, Australia and Canada. It includes key resources specifically drafted in response to the pandemic. Find the content here.

Cambridge University Press law books

Cambridge University Press (CUP) is offering free access to 1,700 of its academic e-books to libraries globally. Access has to be set up via the library but the content is free until 20 May 2020. The list encompasses many law titles and includes books on tort, trusts, labour law, European law, environmental law, human rights, ethics for lawyers, investment law and arbitration, international criminal law, medical law. There are also several titles on Australian and Hongkong law as well as international law. For more information about how to get access to these titles via your library, see:

Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press (OUP) has made over 2,500 research articles and online chapters relevant to Coronavirus available via a new free hub. The hub is accessed here.

Read more about how OUP is supporting education globally here.

ILBF partner organisations and Coronavirus information

The ILBF’s partners have also made available useful guidance and information relating to Coronavirus. Here is a short alphabetical list with links:

Bar Council

British Council

Brown Rudnick

Clifford Chance

Herbert Smith Freehills

Howard Kennedy

International Bar Association

Law Society

Chambers of Twenty Essex

General resources on Coronavirus

RELX Group’s free SDG Resource Centre includes a Coronavirus resource centre which links to Elsevier’s and The Lancet’s resource centres, and a Coronavirus news app. You will find the SDG Resource Centre’s Coronavirus resources here.

The SDG Resource Centre provides invaluable resources relevant to all 17 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals from across the RELX Group of companies: LexisNexis, Elsevier, LexisNexis Risk and Reed Exhibitions, covering legal, medical and science, business risk and analytics, and business events, and includes a global news tracker.

Valuable comprehensive resources available at all times

British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)

BAILII is a free to use online database of British and Irish case law and legislation, European Union case law, Law Commission reports, and other law-related British and Irish material. The site also provides links to legal information for other jurisdictions across the world. The database can be found here.

Inner Temple Library

The Inner Temple, one of England and Wales’s four Inns of Court, has a world class physical library with many international resources. The library team have curated a very useful gateway site of free online legal resources called AccesstoLaw, relating to both to the UK and to jurisdictions across the world. The library team also have a current awareness blog with articles about the latest legal developments. To read more about both resources and to access them, go to this page.

Contact us

At the ILBF our mission is to support lawyers by shipping legal textbooks to organisations who support the rule of law and access to justice: judiciaries, law schools, universities, prisons, NGOs, law commissions and government departments.

The Coronavirus pandemic means that the ILBF is not currently able to pack and ship books, but we continue to accept applications which we will process in the usual way. You can apply for books here. Or please get in touch if you have any queries about the ILBF.

From all of us at the ILBF, please stay safe and well.

Katrina Crossley, CEO

The Gambia judicial library, stocked with ILBF books