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Searching the Case law database

This guide covers some of the basics of searching the case law database.

Search basics

Use the dropdown 'SEARCH' menu and select 'IN CASE LAW DATABASE'.

The 'Court level' dropdown option on the search page allows you to select which court level to search.

Enter the terms you are searching for and click 'Search'.

You can read more about the basics of how to formulate a search query on EIN here.

Filtering and sorting results

Results can be sorted by date or relevance, allowing you to select either the most relevant of the most recent results.

You can filter to various fields to refine your search results, including filtering by court level, index terms, promulgation date and decision.

You can read more about the basics of using the search filters on EIN here.

Finding a case

The EIN search engine is highly intelligent and features impressive relevance ranking. In the majority of cases, you can simply enter as much of the citation of the case in the search box and click 'Search'.

The search engine will rank the results that most closely match your query at the top of the results.

A few practical examples are given below.

If, for example, you are searching for the case HM and Others (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG [2010] UKUT 331 (IAC) then merely searching for HM will be enough to ensure the case appears very near the top of your search results.

However, searching for HM Iraq will produce better results and HM Iraq 2010 UKUT is better still. So the more details you enter from the citation, the better your results will be.

To find a case by appeal/NCN number, simply searching for the number should be enough to rank the case at the very top of the results in the majority of cases.

So, for example a search for [2010] EWCA Civ 719 will ensure that Secretary of State for the Home Department v Pankina [2010] EWCA Civ 719 is the top item in your search results. Again, the search is intelligent enough to allow very good results from incomplete queries, such as 2010 719.

Using the advanced options

If needed (and EIN believe that they rarely will), the advanced options will allow you to be more precise about what you are searching. Simply click 'Advanced options' to reveal.

Please note that these options require an exact match of the field you are searching. So you will need to enter [2010] EWCA Civ 719 in the NCN/appeal number field in order to find that case. Simply entering Civ 719 will not be enough.

You can read more about using the advanced options here.

An alternative (and somewhat simpler to use) method of finding a case is to use the case finder available here. You can use this to search for a specific case by citation, appellant, respondent or NCN/appeal number. Unlike the advanced options in the main search engine, you do not have to worry about an exact match. So, for example, a search in the appeal number field for for Civ 719 or 2010 719 will find [2010] EWCA Civ 719.


Please always feel free to e-mail EIN at if you have any questions or suggestions about the search. Your feedback is valuable in helping to improve EIN.