Cases are a primary source for legal research. They are also referred to as court decisions, judicial decisions, judgments or the common law. Like statute law, case law provides authority in support of particular legal propositions.
As a primary source of our law, identifying, reading and understanding legal cases is integral to legal research.
Take a look at the important elements of a case published in a law report.
If you have a citation, party name, legal principle or topic of law, or other information about a case or cases, use the Researching cases page to access a case database.
Cases are selected for reporting if they have considered legal principles and made a contribution to the common law. Not all cases are reported. If you have a citation or know the law report series, use the Online law reports page to link directly to the online law report you need. Or look at the Print law reports page to see if its available in the Law Library.
Authorised law reports
The Library has many law reports available in print and online, some of which are authorised. Find out which reports are authorised using the Authorised law reports page.
Check our Legal Abbreviations guide to find the meaning of a court or law report abbreviation.
Check our Citing and Referencing page to find out how to cite cases according to the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.
Look at our Writing Case Notes tab to guide your assignment writing.
Find the authorised law reports for English cases (The Law Reports) on the ICLR.3 database.
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