Judges and the law
Judges and the law

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4.2.2 Private reports (1535–1865)

These reports bear the name they do because they were produced by private individuals and are cited by the name of the person who collected them. They were, however, published commercially for public reference. An ongoing problem with the private reports relates to their accuracy. At best, it can be said that some were better, that is, more accurate, than others. Of particular importance among the earlier reports were those of Plowden, Coke and Burrows, but there are many other reports that are of equal standing in their own right with full and accurate reports of the cases submitted by counsel together with the reason for the decisions in the particular case. A substantial number of the private reports have been collated and published as the English Reports. The series comprises 178 large volumes – 176 volumes being reports and the last 2 volumes providing an index of all the cases reported. In addition, the reports are accompanied by a useful wallchart to assist location of individual reports.

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