Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Searching the EIN website

This guide covers some of the basics of searching on the EIN website.

Search basics

Use the dropdown 'Search' menu to select where you want to search. Click to expand and then select which part of the EIN you want to search. Click 'everywhere' to search the entire EIN website or select the individual database you wish to search: Case law, Country reports, Legislation or Resources.


Entering your search queries

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

EIN uses an advanced, highly intelligent search engine and we are confident that most users will find it offers impressive results for most search queries. Put simply, the search should be no more challenging that a familiar Google search.

By default, the search will take into account all of the words you are searching for, using its intelligence to provide you with relevant results. For one, two, three and four word search queries, the search will assume you must find all of the words but for five or more word search queries the search will operate on the principle that one out of four words (or 20% or your search query) can be skipped (ensuring you are less likely to receive no results).

You can also tell the search that a word must be found by puttting a + before it. Simply type +word1 +word2 +word3 +word4 +word5 if you want all words to found. For example, searching for Iran Iraq human rights Kurds will find items that should contain 'Iran' and 'Iraq' and 'human' and 'rights' and 'Kurds', but searching for Iran +Iraq human rights +Kurds will tell the search that 'Iraq' and 'Kurds' must be found while the other words only should be found.

You can tell the search that a word is to be excluded by putting a - before it or using the NOT operator. For example, searching for Iraq -Kurds will tell the search that 'Kurds' must not be found.

To find a phrase, wrap it in quotation marks. For example, searching for immigration rules will find the individual words 'immigration' and 'rules' but "immigration rules" will find the phrase 'immigration rules'.

You can tell the search that a word is more important by putting a ^ character followed by a numeric 'boost' value after the word. Numeric values up to ten should be sufficient, but you can try up to 100 or more, if needed.

For example, searching for Iraq Kurds peshmerga^10 will tell the search that 'peshmerga' is more important in the query. It has been 'boosted' by ten.

Using the 'Relevance bias' function

The Relevance bias function offers options that will target your search towards finding matches in the title or the text, allowing you some fine tuning of your search results.


If you want to find a specific item on EIN, such as finding a specific case by searching for the appellant name or the appeal number, you will find it helpful to select the Title bias option. This will increase the chances of the item you are searching for appearing at or near the top of your search results (when the results are sorted by relevance).

By contrast, the Text option will weight your search towards finding matches with the text of an item. This could be useful, for example, if you want to search for cases that cite another case.

The default All (balanced) option biases your search somewhere between the Title and Text options. It should be provide a sensible balance for most searches.

Filtering and sorting results

On the right hand side of the search page are the search filters and sorting options. As with the rest of EIN, the blue boxes with a right facing arrow can be expanded or collapsed. Just click to expand/collapse.

Search results can be sorted by date or relevancy (or title), allowing you to select either the most relevant or the most recent results.

Clik the date option to sort by date and you can click the date option twice to switch between sorting results by date ascending and date descending.

The filters allow you to select to filter your search results. The filters will change depending on which search you are performing (e.g., you can filter by court level for a case law search, you can filter by country for a country reports search).

You can also filter by EIN index terms (and you can select multiple index term filters). EIN index terms in the filter are grouped by catergory and selecting a category will reveal the terms within that category - you may wish to see the index terms glossary available here to see which terms are within each category.

You simply click on the option to select it. The figures in brackets shows how many items selecting that filter will find:

When a filter is selected, you see a (-) to the right of the selected filter. You can click on the (-) to deselect the filter.

You can see all of the filters you have selected in the 'Current search' box and you can deselct them here as well.

Performing a new search will remove the filters or you can tick the otion to 'Retain current filters' - ticking this allows you to search for different words whilst keeping the seleted filter options..

Using the advanced options

If needed (and EIN believe that they rarely will be), 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. However, when typing in the advanced fields, an autocomplete will appear with searches that match what you are typing. You should select the autocomplete suggestion that matches what you are searching for.

You can read the guide about using the advanced search options here.

Searching by EIN index terms

EIN index terms are now 'clickable' - just click an index terms to search by that terms (EIN index terms appear at the bottom of content on a page - i.e., scroll to the end of a case or country report to see the index terms). The new glossary of index terms available here is also clickable - click any term to search for that term.

You can also search by index terms by entering the index term in the advanced options on the search page (in the EIN index terms: field). Just begin typing and the autocomplete will match the index term. Select the term from the list when it appears.

To search for multiple index terms, type a semi-colon ; after each index term and begin typing again. The autocomplete will continue to match your typing and you can continue to select index terms. E.g., MILITARY SERVICE;CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS would search for those two index terms.


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.