The law of England and Wales is based on the judge-made common law. It is now overlaid by many statutes (Acts of Parliament) and statutory
instruments (legislation which is secondary to statute but also has to be approved by Parliament).
However, no English lawyer is happy to rely on the bare text of a statute unless it has been interpreted by a court. Therefore, the reports of the decisions of the higher courts are as important,
if not more important – interpretations of the law by the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court are
each binding on the courts at lower levels.
Decisions of the County Court are not normally reported and are only "persuasive", i.e. not binding on other County Courts.
You can find law reports on-line for free at Bailii (the British and Irish Legal Information Institute). There
are also more comprehensive services for which you have to pay a subscription, such as Casetrack and Lawtel.