I would like to include text like the following in a latex document
 EWCA Civ 1042.
Unfortunately if I use
\[2007\] EWCA Civ 1042 the number within the square brackets is typeset on a separate line.
\[ must mean something I don't know. How do I escape a square bracket?
I realise this may be a stupid question, but the only way to escape things I know of is backslash.
You don't escape square brackets in LaTeX if you want them typeset.
\]are basically synonyms for
amsmathloaded), and will make the enclosed content typeset in a unnumbered displayed math equation on a separate line, which is clearly not what you want.
In conclusion you should simply write
verbatim to get the output
Edit: As noted in the comments, this will not work in the special cases where the brackets follow a macro (as in
\item  EWA) or if it comes first in a row in a
tabular. In these situations one should group the brackets inside braces as