Cases : BooksCases:Legal EncyclopaediasCases: Encyclopaedias Q & A'sCases: CommentariesCases: Commentaries; Q & A'sCase Law: Legal DictionariesCases: Dictionaries Q & A's
Q&As - Looking at a case
Completing Case CitationsQ&A - completing case citationsCaseBase - partial details to full citationLegal DictionariesQ & A's Finding Cases: Case seriesCases Tutorial: Checking the status of a case Q & A's
Searching Caselaw databases for UnreportedsQ&As - Searching Unreported Judgements
Cases Judicially ConsideredQ&A - precedentChecking the status of a caseCases Judicially Considered
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Case Law Lesson 2014   Tags: law caselaw tutorial legal  

Last Updated: Mar 5, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Case Law Lesson Introduction

Case Law Lesson

Welcome to the Case Law lesson. After reading through the materials contained here, you will understand how to find cases and how to complete case citations. You will also know whether a case has been judicially considered and its current status.

Most topics have self-test questions attached. These will provide an opportunity to check your understanding of the materials presented. These questions appear where you see the judge.

Case Law

This lesson introduces you to case law materials, research resources and processes. You will work through a research methodology which models "real world" legal research processes.

You will:

  • Learn about case citation
  • Learn how to find cases
  • Learn how to find out how courts have applied or interpreted the case
  • Learn how to find articles about cases

Summary of the research process

The following "research pathway" will take you through the process of finding out about case law.

  • Reading about the area of law including commentary that puts the case in context, using tools such as; encyclopaedias, text books, journal articles.
    • Finding commentary about the general topic you are looking at by consulting books and encyclopaedias. Within the commentary you will find references to relevant primary materials (cases and legislation) in the text and in the footnotes.
    • Use dictionaries to clarify the legal meaning of unfamiliar words or familiar words used in an unusual manner.
    • Examining judicial consideration of cases, using case citators such as FirstPoint and CaseBase.
  • Examining the status of the decision. 
    • Is the precedent in the decision still good law? When you have found and read a relevant case you will need to establish its current standing.
    • How has the decision been applied in more recent decisions? New developments in case law can occur whenever a case is decided (the decision is "handed down"). This means when you have found and read relevant cases you need to find out how the decision has been applied in more recent decisions.
    • Other terminology used in relation to this task: "noting up cases", "status" or "standing".
  • Finally you may wish to read more journal articles discussing the particular point of law, case or legislation.

How to use this lesson


Read the text for each task, and follow the instructions given.

Complete the multiple choice self-test  for each topic to test your understanding and competency.

These questions will help LLB504, LAW402, BJU100 and LEG150 students prepare for the Assessment Library Research Test to be completed at the end of this lesson. Students from other units will also benefit from the information contained within this lesson.



Case Law Lesson - Next Topic: Legal Dictionaries

Case Law Lesson

Next Topic: Legal Dictionaries


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