Flinders University Library
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Case law

How to search for...

Full citation details if you only have the party names, or a popular case name
Major / leading cases on a legal issue
Cases on a legal issue
Cases with similar facts
Cases that cite an earlier case (noting up)
Legislation judicially considered (cases that refer to an Act)
Cases that consider a word or a phrase
Journal articles about a case / case notes

 

Task Resources Tips

Search for full citation details if you only have the party names, or a popular case name

CaseBase

Type the party names into the 'Case/Article Name box'

Use 'and' between the party names, instead of 'v'

FirstPoint

Type the party names into the 'Case Title/Party Name' box

Don't need to use 'v' or 'and' between party names

Textbooks or casebooks

Look in the 'Table of Cases'

Will only cover major / leading cases

Search for major / leading cases on a legal issue Use secondary sources

* books
* legal encyclopaedias
* commentary services

See the Law Search Smart Guide for more information

Search for cases on a legal issue Secondary sources
(as listed above)

Use these to find major or leading cases

Then note up these cases using CaseBase and/or FirstPoint (see below for details)

CaseBase

Use 'contains text' box to find keywords mentioned in the catchwords and summary of the case

Use 'Catchwords' to find cases specifically on point

Can sort results by 'Relevance' to list highly cited cases first

FirstPoint

Use 'Case Summary/Digest' to find keywords mentioned in the summary of the case

Use 'Catchwords' to find cases specifically on point

Browse through the subject list on the left of the screen

Can sort results by 'Relevance' to list highly cited cases first

AustLII Sort result by 'citation frequency' to see more significant cases listed first
Search for cases with similar facts AustLII

Search the full text of judgments, where facts are described in more detail.

Preferable over case digests (CaseBase and FirstPoint) which provide limited facts

Search for cases that cite an earlier case (noting up)

 

 

 

CaseBase

1. Search for the case by

  •  typing the party names into the 'Case/Article Name' box
  • typing the citation into the 'Citation' box

2. Look at the signal next to the case name
    This indicates the status of the case  -  whether it has been treated positively, with caution or negatively
     Click on 'Signal Help' for info

3. Look at the table of 'Cases referring to this case'
    The annotation describes how the case was used by the later case. These annotations are defined under 'CaseBase annotations' from the 'Help' link

FirstPoint

1. Search for cases by:

  • typing the party names into the 'Case Titles/Party Name' box
  • typing the citation into the 'Citation' box

2. Look at the symbol next to the case name
       This indicates the status of the case - whether it has been treated positively, with caution or negatively
        Look at the 'Case Status Symbol' User Guide for info

3. Click on 'Case citing'
       The annotations describes how the case was used by the later case. These annotations are defined in the 'Cases Status Symbol' guide

AustLII

Click on 'Noteup' - this lists cases in AusLII that refer to the case.

No annotation is given, so you need to read each case to see how the earlier case was used

Search for legislation judicially considered CaseBase

Use the 'Act/Regulation' box

Use w/p to include the jurisdiction (e.g. civil liability w/p sa)

FirstPoint

Use the 'Legislation Cited' box

Use * to search for all subsections (e.g. 31*)

AustLII

Use the 'Noteup' link from
 * the Act homepage, OR
 * the individual section

Search for cases that consider a word or a phrase CaseBase

Use the 'Words and Phrases' search box

FirstPoint
Search for journal articles about a case / case notes CaseBase

1. Search for the case (see above)

2. Look at the table of 'Journal articles' or "Publications referring to this case'

Click 'Help' for a list of abbreviations and full titles

FirstPoint

1. Search for the case (see above)

2. Click on 'Noted in Journals' 

Look at the 'FirstPoint Table of Abbreviations' for full titles

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