The IALS archives (basement L3): Laws of the West Indies Federation


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The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies possesses a wealth of archival and open-shelf legal materials (judicial studies, legislation, law reports) from across the former British West Indies and non-Anglophone territories. The former are mainly donated by the Colonial Office, The Commonwealth Office and independent governments, and span from early British colonisation (1600s) to the present. The latter mostly cover the 20th century to the present, although there are some historical sources. 

In IALS Colonial-era materials are housed in L3 (Lower floor 3, basement) under the RES GN (reserve) and RES FOL GN (Folio, large books) classmarks.

Post-independence, Commonwealth and other Caribbean materials are housed on the IALS library open shelves mainly under the GN class mark.

Again, this guide is cursory rather than comprehensive so please consult the catalogue for sources that are not detailed below.

For more information on accessing any of these materials visit To search the IALS catalogue:

Key catalogue subject themes: Caribbean Area Constitutional Law

British West Indies Colonial Law

The following classmarks denote were each territory is housed within the archive:

  • Bahamas (1729- ) RES GN2 / RES FOL GN2 (for post-independence law see GN2 open shelves
  • Barbados (1643- ) RES GN 3 / RES FOL GN3 (for post-independence law see GN3 open shelves
  • Bermuda (1860-) RES GN 4 / RES FOL GN4 (for recent law see GN4 open shelves)
  • British Guiana / Guyana (1774- ) RES GN5 (for post-independence law see GN5 open shelves
  • British Honduras / Belize (1857- ) RES GN6 / RES FOL GN6 (for post-independence law see GN6 open shelves)
  • Jamaica (1681- ) RES GN7 / RES FOL GN7 (for post-independence law see GN7 open shelves
  • Turks and Caicos (1862- ) RES GN7 E.5-6 (for recent law see GN7.E5-6 open shelves)
  • Cayman Islands RES GN7 E.9-10 / RES FOL GN7.E.9-10  (for recent law see GN7. E9-10 open shelves)
  • Leeward Islands (1782-1956) RES GN8
  • Antigua and Barbuda (1808- ) RES GN8 E5-8 / RES FOL GN8 (for post-independence law see GN8)
  • St Christopher / St Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla (1711 - ) RES GN8. E9-12 / RES FOL GN8. E9-12 (for post-independence and recent law see GN8)
  • Montserrat (1921- ) RES GN8.E.13 (for recent law see GN8. E13)
  • The Virgin Islands (1961- ) RES GN8.E.17-18

Commonwealth and Post-Independence Caribbean Law



Francophone/ Kreyol

IALS Subject Guides

IALS have rich subject guides for legal research on Jamaica and a host of Caribbean Commonwealth countries. 

IALS Digital Subscriptions


LLMC is an online digital platform that preserves and digitises legal documents. They have extensive British West Indies colonial materials which can be accessed by all University of London members and by anyone logged in on-site:

Numerous independent Anglophone and non-Anglophone territories also feature:



Caribbean Law Online (CariLaw) is a database which contains full texts from over 36,000 legal cases. These can also be accessed by all University of London members and by anyone logged in on site at IALS: