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Legal Reference Materials Course
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Legal Reference Materials Course


On Friday 28th June 2019, BIALL collaborated with CILIP Ireland and CLSIG to deliver their popular Legal Reference Materials course at the Belfast offices of Allen and Overy. This was the first time the course has ever been delivered in Northern Ireland and it provided a fantastic opportunity for local law librarians to develop new skills and refresh their existing knowledge.

The day began with Rob Turner, Chair of BIALL’s Professional Development Committee presenting an overview of the English legal system. It was helpfully followed by a presentation from Heather Semple, Head of Library and Information Services at the Law Society of Northern Ireland who presented an introduction to the Northern Ireland legal system and legislation. This outline provided a clear context for the rest of the day.

After morning tea break Alex Pooley, Chair CLSIG took over and delivered a really useful session on legislation. She explained in more detail how to find and understand the structure of legislation, how to track a bill and how to cite it along with an overview of the most common databases in the UK for legislation.

Delegates were then set to work putting the morning’s learning into practice by completing a series of questions using various online sources. The trainers were on hand to provide assistance along with helpful hints and tips.

After a busy morning everyone enjoyed a well-deserved lunch outside on the balcony. The break provided an excellent opportunity to network while soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the beautiful views of Belfast.

The afternoon focused on case law and included a comprehensive session delivered by Rob Turner which looked at everything from the court structure to citations, the various resources that are available and how to determine whether a case is good law or not. This was an extremely engaging and practical session and again delegates were tasked with completing a set of questions, this time relating to case law materials.

Feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive with some examples set out below and we wish to thank the presenters and all those who attended.

“It was wonderful to have an opportunity to attend this fantastic course in Belfast.”

“I’ve learned so much from this course, the speakers were excellent and the topics were useful and extensive. Brilliant!”

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