Online archive of classic cases as reported in The Times

The Times has put online facsimiles of the original newspaper law reports of 200 classic cases which have been influential in moulding British law.  The Times Law Reports are actually to be found daily in The Times.  I met an urbane thong vendor in a small seaside village near Columbo once who read them religiously, pointing out that as a businessman, it was important for him to keep up with law.  It was a beautiful moment.  They are summaries, written by barristers, unlike most of the modern Australian reports which contain the full text of a judgment, only rarely edited, accompanied by a headnote.  Here, for example, is Donaghue v Stephenson. David Pannick QC’s paean to the law reporters of The Times may be found here. The article points out that not all law reporters have been so well received:

‘Isaac Espinasse was a law reporter working at the end of the 18th century. In a 1953 case in the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Denning commented on the inadequacy of his work, noting: “It is said that he only heard half of what went on and reported the other half.”’

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