This website presents the first digital catalogue of the ‘Printed Papers’ of Appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC), which was the final court of appeal for the British empire and later, for several countries of the Commonwealth. The ‘Printed Papers in appeal’ are detailed ‘case-records’ associated with appeal cases heard by the JCPC, which supplement the judgements. This catalogue contains key details for approximately 9,368 cases, decided between 1792-1998, links to full-text judgements from BAILII where available, and as added, and the full-text Printed Papers for 7 cases.
The Printed Papers, which had to be produced due to the court’s procedural rules, contain far more detail about the litigants, their dispute and their social context, than the official judgement. A full set contains records of proceedings in the lower courts, and exhibits, depositions and affidavits admitted as evidence at these lower levels. For understanding the context in which these records were produced, see Historical and legal context.
Creating this catalogue is the first step towards creating a searchable full-text database of the records of the JCPC. Such a database will also contain information regarding Supplementary material, that is, non-legal records with direct or thematic connection to particular cases — including, for example, newspaper material, artwork, literature and private papers. While such records have no legal relevance, they are often vital for understanding the social and political context in which a trial took place. Users are invited to contribute information about such material using the feedback form associated with each case’s record.
This website, especially the blog it hosts, is intended to encourage discussion between all those that find such a resource useful. Academic users may wish to consider joining the research network ‘Subjects of law’ or participating in some of its activities. All are welcome to contact the project investigators regarding aspects of this project.
Explanation and disclaimer
This is an ongoing project, hence many aspects of this website are under construction. Users would discover new resources when they re-visit after an interval, and are invited to contact the project directors for any information or clarification related to the project.
No part of the material presented on this website has any legal standing, and should not be treated as such.