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British and UK Studies

Scholarly resources in British and UK Studies, including the nations making up the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales). The resources organized here are all freely available and have undergone a selection and evaluation process

United Kingdom (General)

PORTALS and GENERAL SITES

Portal site with comprehensive listings of online resources on the constitution, monarchy, parliament, prime minister and cabinet, government departments, legal political parties, think tanks, media resources (extensive list of national and local sources), and non-governmental groups active on political, social, economic issues. Covers the UK generally, including regional and local sites, with a few additional resources on the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. A site of Keele University's School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy.

Includes links to Prime Minister's office, sites of individual ministries; legislative bodies; other government bodies such as Office of National Statistics; political parties with representatives in the UK Parliament's House of Commons as well as in the devolved legislative bodies of Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales; parties registered with the Electoral Commission.

GOVERNMENT

The official, slightly edited report of what has been said in the UK Parliament -- debates, votes, petitions, statements, etc. Updated daily, it currently covers parliamentary activity since 1803.

  • Prime Minister's Office

    Official site: recent speeches and statements issued by the PM and staff, as well as general and historical information about British prime ministers and the work of the Office at 10 Downing Street.

  • UK Government Web Archive

    "UK central government information published on the web. The web archive includes videos, tweets, images and websites dating from 1996 to present."  Compiled and maintained by the National Archives.

  • UK Parliament

    Official site on the UK Parliament and its business, including recent news; individual houses and committees; current legislation (issues and bills); links to videos and live streaming of debates and meetings; directory of MPs (members of House of Commons) and members of House of Lords.

PARTY POLITICS

There are numerous political parties in the United Kingdom, covering a broad spectrum of positions and issues. One extensive list of them:

  • Political Parties (list on the British Government and Politics on the Internet portal site)

The websites of just the major parties in terms of recent UK election results:

Also known as the Tories.

(For the Green parties, see below under England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland)

ELECTIONS

The publicly funded, politically independent body that oversees elections and referenda, together with regulating political finance. Its site includes a political finance database with details about political party registration, sources of funding, and expenditures.

LEGAL RESOURCES

Provides access to multiple databases of legal records: "British and Irish case law & legislation, European Union case law, Law Commission reports, and other law-related British and Irish material." BAILII is an organization based at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, and the Law Faculty, University College Cork.

Portal page to extensive range of legal resources, prepared at the Law Library of Congress.

A resource for legislative documents (with searches for specific legislation provided by the National Archives) and explanations of legislation in the UK at different levels, as well as information on current legislative bodies in the UK -- UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, and Northern Ireland Assembly -- historical legislative bodies, and  other units of government (Crown and Privy Council) with law-making authority.

England; England & Wales jointly

Including resources that cover both England and Wales (but not Scotland or Northern Ireland).

GOVERNMENT

Website of the government body responsible for protecting and managing the natural environment in England, including land management; open access land and public rights of way; agriculture; animal protection; and wildlife conservation. Multiple categories of protected land are covered, such as national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), National Nature Reserves (NNRs), and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).

PARTY POLITICS

A party campaigning for the establishment of a devolved English Parliament and greater autonomy for England within the UK.

The Green Party, which holds seats in the UK Parliament, fields candidates only in England and Wales; it collaborates with the Green Party Northern Ireland and the Scottish Greens.

LEGAL RESOURCES

Since the Laws of Wales Acts of 1535 and 1542, the same common law system has applied to both England and Wales. (Please see above under "United Kingdom (General)" for resources on broader law of the UK.)

Provides access to multiple databases of legal records, particularly court and tribunal decisions, addressing case law of England and Wales.

OTHER POLITICAL AND GOVERNMENT RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET

The National Farmers Union (NFU) is the "representation body for agriculture and horticulture in England and Wales."

Northern Ireland

GOVERNMENT

Unless otherwise specified, the following websites provide information about devolved governmental matters dealt with by the government of Northern Ireland and its agencies or by local government bodies, rather than areas within the mandate of the UK-wide government.

Site providing information and news about the various public services provided by national and local government bodies in Northern Ireland; organized both by general topic and by alphabetical directories. (Website title in Irish Gaelic: té díreach)

Official site of Northern Ireland's legislative body, featuring current news, Assembly business, a directory of Assembly members (MLAs), general information, and historical background.

Official site, including current news; an overview of the work of the Northern Ireland Executive, the First Minister, the Deputy Minister, and the departmental ministers; posted statements and other publications; and historical background on Stormont House, the government seat.

The Northern Ireland Office is a unit of the general United Kingdom government; its webpages include featured news information about its mandate, its work, and its current officials.

PARTY POLITICS

The DUP, which holds seats in the UK Parliament as well as the Northern Ireland Assembly, fields candidates only in Northern Ireland.

The SDLP, which holds seats in the UK Parliament as well as the Northern Ireland Assembly, fields candidates only in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Féin is a party active in Northern Ireland as well as the Republic of Ireland. It holds seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly and has won seats in the UK Parliament.

LEGAL RESOURCES

In addition to being governed by laws covering the United Kingdom as a whole, Northern Ireland has its separate legal system. (Please see above under "United Kingdom (General)" for resources on law of the UK.)

Provides access to multiple databases of legal records, including court and tribunal decisions, legislation, and other material, addressing laws relating specifically to Northern Ireland.

OTHER POLITICAL AND GOVERNMENT RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET

NIPSA is the trade union representing civil servants and other employees of public bodies as well as employees of a number of voluntary public service organizations. In addition to information about the body, this website provides access to NIPSA publications on topics such as health care, housing, and privatization.

A digital archive of publications of Northern Irish ministerial departments and agencies, as well as independent bodies, compiled and maintained at Queen's University Belfast, which is an official deposit library for Northern Ireland official publications. The documents, gathered from the bodies' websites, are supplemented by document descriptions. (Collection development guidelines are applied by agreement with the British Library, which also receives copies of the descriptions.)

Provides Information about this official government archival body and its current activities; archival guides and finding aids; and access to digital historical documents from a range of sources (including pre-1858 Church of Ireland records).

Scotland

GOVERNMENT

Unless otherwise specified, the following websites provide information about devolved governmental matters dealt with by the Scottish government and its agencies or by local government bodies in Scotland, rather than areas within the mandate of the UK-wide government.

The collective body representing local government units in Scotland.

Gaelic title: Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Official site of the Scottish Executive branch of government. Provides general information about its structure, including the First Minister and the various ministries; topics within its scope; news; and access to Scottish government publications.

Official site of the Scottish Parliament (Gaelic name: Pàrlamaid na h-Alba), with general information on the institution, specifics on parliamentary business, a directory of members, and additional details  (party profiles, maps, etc.).

PARTY POLITICS

The SNP, which holds seats in the UK Parliament as well as the Scottish Parliament, fields candidates only in Scotland.

LEGAL RESOURCES

In addition to being governed by laws covering the United Kingdom as a whole, Scotland has retained a legal system that is separate from that of England and Wales. (Please see above under "United Kingdom (General)" for resources on law of the UK.)

Provides access to multiple databases of legal records, including court decisions and opinions, legislation, and other material, addressing laws relating specifically to Scotland.

As an agency dealing with Scottish criminal jurisdiction, COPFS is "Scotland’s prosecution service. We receive reports about crimes from the police and other reporting agencies and then decide what action to take, including whether to prosecute someone. We also look into deaths that need further explanation and investigate allegations of criminal conduct against police officers."

Official site of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS).

"Scotland’s law reform body ... established under the Law Commissions Act 1965 to make recommendations to Government to simplify, modernise and improve Scots law."

OTHER POLITICAL AND GOVERNMENT RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET

Site of the NRS (formerly the General Register Office); provides information on vital records, vital statistics, records management, and related news, as well as preserving and providing access to a wide range of historical records, public and private.

Wales

GOVERNMENT

Unless otherwise specified, the following websites provide information about devolved governmental matters dealt with by the Welsh government and its agencies or by local government bodies in Wales, rather than areas within the mandate of the UK-wide government.

Official site of the legislative body of Wales, featuring current news, general information about this devolved body, specific Senedd business, a directory of members of the Senedd, and historical and architectural information about its buildings. (Prior to 6 May 2020, the Welsh Parliament was named Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru, the National Assembly for Wales.)

Official site of the executive Welsh Government, including current news; an overview of its work and the roles of the First Minister, departmental Welsh ministers, and the Counsel General; publications (extensive, searchable list); and historical background on Stormont House, the government seat.

PARTY POLITICS

Plaid Cymru, which holds seats in the UK Parliament as well as in the Welsh Assembly, fields candidates only in Wales.

LEGAL RESOURCES

Current Welsh law consists of legislation generated by the devolved National Assembly for Wales. In other areas, Wales is governed by laws covering the United Kingdom as a whole (since 1707) or by the common law of England and Wales (since 1542). (Please see above for resources on law of the UK, under "United Kingdom (General)," and law of England & Wales, under "England & Wales jointly.")

Provides access to multiple databases of Welsh legislation.

A database of freely available articles providing "information about Wales' constitutional arrangements and law devolved to the National Assembly for Wales."

Prior to 1535, Wales had developed a detailed system of Celtic Welsh law, whose codification was attributed to the 10th-century ruler Hywel Dda (Howel the Good). Numerous manuscripts documenting medieval Welsh law survive.

Transcribed texts of 27 Welsh manuscripts that contain legal sources; part of a project supported by Cardiff University (Prifysgol Caerdydd).

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man (or Mann) is a self-governing British Crown dependency. While it is not part of the United Kingdom, it recognizes the British monarch as its sovereign head of state.

GOVERNMENT

Covers multiple units of government and multiple aspects of activities on the Isle of Man, including community service information such as hospital listings, career guidance resources, weather, leisure and entertainment opportunities, Manx heritage, etc.

Official site of the Tynwald, or High Court of Tynwald, the parliament of the Isle of Man, which considers itself the oldest continuously functioning parliament in the world. The site includes information on its two chambers, legislation, committees, members, and current news, as well as historical background.

LEGAL RESOURCES

Provides listings of the individual Isle of Man courts and their sitting dates; list and transcripts of lectures by court officials; news & summaries; a record of court judgments; and other information relating to the Manx judicial system.

WESSWeb