The British Law Report Corpus (BLaRC) is an 8.85 million-word legal corpus of 1,228 judicial decisions issued between 2008 and 2010 by British courts and tribunals. It was compiled and classified by Dr. Maria Jose Marin, a legal English lecturer with the LACELL research group at the University of Murcia, Spain.
The BLaRC is structured into five main sections reflecting the different jurisdictions of the British judicial system, that is, the geographical scope of its courts and tribunals: a) Commonwealth countries; b) United Kingdom; c) England and Wales; d) Northern Ireland; e) Scotland. Additionally, each corpus section is divided into different sub-sections coinciding with the hierarchical structure of the courts and tribunals comprised therein. By maintaining this structure, the texts are grouped according to the field of law they belong to (but for the Supreme Court, most courts and tribunals are organised according to the branch of law they pertain to, i.e. criminal law, family law, commercial law, intellectual property right law, etc.), hence the similarity of their lexicon. Therefore, comparing results by studying the sections separately could prove useful and responsive to thematic criteria, which is fundamental as far as the identification and study of the specialised vocabulary of this legal English genre is concerned.
All United Kingdom Crown Copyright content re-used for educational and research purposes in this FLAX BLaRC language collection was derived from freely available judicial reports on the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) website, and is available under the Open Government Licence v2.0 except where otherwise stated.
Image: A Criminal Case by Honoré Daumier [French, 1808 - 1879]. Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.