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Law Library at Murdoch University: Training & Micro-Lessons

Sourcing Case Law

You need to know which database to search to find a case.
Otherwise, it's like trying to find Wonder Woman in a Marvel comic.

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases from a citation (e.g. 249 CLR 435).
Note the extra resources supplied when using CaseBase and FirstPoint.

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations
Findit:
CaseBase:
(Lexis Advance Pacific)
FirstPoint:
(Westlaw AU)

Authorised Report Series quick guide - cite and quote from the authorised reporting series.

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Jade:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:
JustCite (for UK cases):

Learn more in the Case Law Lesson.

Famous cases

For famous cases, such as the AAP Case, Engineers Case, Mabo Case, Seas & Submerged Lands Case and the Woollen Underwear Case, start by search legal encyclopaedias and case citators (they are often referred to by their common names):

Cases often asked for:

Associated Minerals Pty Ltd v NSW Rutile Mining Company Pty Ltd [1962] ALR 236; (1961) 35 ALJR 296
A citation often supplied for this case is (1961) 35 ALJR 256

  • The citation is incorrect
  • Volume and ALJR are correct, but the page number is incorrect
  • Search for the case on JADE to find it referred to in another case - this time with the correct page number

Atkins v Egypt Holdings Pty Ltd (unreported, SCWA, 10 July 1987)

  • Lexis Advance  >  Cases Search Template  >  Case Name:  Atkins AND Egypt Holdings  +  Jurisdiction: Western Australia

Crocker Consolidated v Willie [1988] WAR 187

  • Westlaw AU  >  Cases Search Template  >  Citation:  [1988] WAR 187

 

 

General search instructions:

  • select Cases search template
  • search by case name or citation 
  • select Cited by

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases citing cases (judicial consideration) using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Jade:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:

Find more information on : Judicial consideration of cases

General search instructions:

  • select Cases search template
  • select relevant jurisdiction
  • complete the Legislation name and provision text boxes
  • select relevant Court, if required 

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases considering Acts using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Jade:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:

Find more information on : Judicial consideration of legislation

​View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing terms that have been considered in cases (judicial consideration) using specific databases:

Lexis Advance Pacific:
WestlawAU

General search instructions:

  • select Journals search template
  • search by case name or citation 
  • select Journals referring to this case

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases considered in journal articles using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Informit:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:
Enter your research question

Use the Research Strategy Template to organise your legal research.

1.  Read a legal encyclopaedia, or journal article, to mine for search terms

2.  Find synonyms for the search terms

3.  Create search strings for searching databases - use Boolean connectors

4.  Follow the Five Steps to Legal Research

5.  Record all resources, including quotations and their page numbers

TIP: Ensure your reference complies with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation rules when you first access the resource - don't leave your referencing to the last minute.  See the Legal Citation Guide for easy citation.

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Sourcing Legislation

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing legislation using specific databases:

Legify.com.au:

Federal Register of Legislation (Cth)
Search by: Name, Year, Currently in Force:
State Law Publisher (WA)
Search by:Name, Year, Currently in Force:

State and Territory legislation:
Federal Register of Legislation

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing amendments to Acts/legislation using specific databases:

Federal Register of Legislation (Cth)
Legify.com.au:
State Law Publisher (WA)
Legify.com.au:

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing delegated legislation (e.g. regulations) using specific databases:

Legify.com.au:

Federal Register of Legislation (Cth)
Search by: Name, Year:
State Law Publisher (WA):

Other States & Territories:
FRoL: Other Sources of Australian Law

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Bills using specific databases:

Legify.com.au (Cth)
Bills from 1996 onwards:
Federal Register of Legislation (Cth)
Bills from 1996 onwards:
Bills Digest (Cth) (Browse by Year or Search)
Bills from 1976 onwards:
Parliament House (ParlInfo) (Cth)
Bills from 1996 onwards:
Parliament of Western Australia (WA)
Bills from 2000 onwards:

Bills Digest provides useful information on the purpose and background of Bills.

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Explanatory Memoranda using specific databases:

Federal Register of Legislation (Cth)
EMs from 1996 onwards:
Lawlex (Cth)
EMs from 1996 onwards:
Parliament House (ParlInfo) (Cth)
EMs from 1996 onwards:
Parliament of Western Australia (WA)
EMs from 2000 onwards:

Note:

Commonwealth:

Since 1982, Explanatory Memoranda have been standard practice for Bills.
Some of these may be available in print in the Law Library

Commonwealth Explanatory Memoranda Index:
Indicates whether there was an Explanatory Memoranda or Comparative Memoranda accompanying a Bill from 1901 to 1982

For more information on Commonwealth Explanatory Memoranda see Was there an EM? : Explanatory Memoranda and Explanatory Statements in the Commonwealth Parliament

Western Australia:  

Prior to 2000, Explanatory Memoranda in Western Australia were rarely published.

Explanatory Memoranda Pre - 2000: on the Parliamentary Library Western Australia website  

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Second Reading Speeches using specific databases:

Lawlex:
2RS from 1996 onwards:
Parliament House (Cth)
Search by: Name, Year, Currently in Force:
Parliament of Western Australia (WA)
2RS from 2000 onwards:

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing parliamentary debates (Hansard) using specific databases:

Parliament of Australia (Cth):
Hansard 1901+:
ParlInfo Search (Cth)
Hansard 1901+:
WA Parliament (WA)
1996+:
WA Parliament (WA)
1870 - 1995:

 

Daily Transcripts - uncorrected Hansard is available about 3 hours after the House rises

Hansard is available in print in the Law Library at GR 328.94102 W527 3

See Finding Second Reading Speeches in Print or Online Guide for more detailed information.

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing the progress of a Bill through Parliament using specific databases:

Lawlex:

Parliament House (ParlInfo) (Cth)
Bills from 1996 onwards:
Parliament of Western Australia (WA)
Bills from 2000 onwards:

Bills Digest provides useful information on the purpose and background of Bills.

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Parliamentary Committee Reports using specific databases:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Committee Reports (Cth):

WA Parliament (WA)
1990+:

Register of Commonwealth Committee Reports - House of Representative and Joint Committee Reports from 1901 to 17 October 2014

Commonwealth Parliamentary Committees - about

Western Australian Parliamentary Committees - about 

​View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing defined terms in legislation using specific databases:

Lexis Advance Pacific:
WestlawAU

General search instructions:

  • select Journals search template
  • search by Act title or number
  • select Journals referring to this Act

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Acts considered in journal articles using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Informit:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:

Use the Research Strategy Template to organise your legal research.

1.  Read a legal encyclopaedia, or journal article, to mine for search terms

2.  Find synonyms for the search terms

3.  Create search strings for searching databases - use Boolean connectors

4.  Follow the Five Steps to Legal Research

5.  Record all resources, including quotations and their page numbers

TIP: Ensure your reference complies with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation rules when you first access the resource - don't leave your referencing to the last minute.  See the Legal Citation Guide for easy citation.

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Sourcing Articles

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing articles by title using specific databases:

Findit
Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations: 

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing articles by citation using Findit and Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations: 

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing peer reviewed articles and journals using specific databases:

UlrichsWeb
Findit:
Findit
Note: Findit does not search CCH, Lexis Advance, WestlawAU

General search instructions:

  • select Journals search template
  • search by Act title or number
  • select Journals referring to this Act

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Acts considered in journal articles using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Informit:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:

General search instructions:

  • select Journals search template
  • search by case name or citation 
  • select Journals referring to this case

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases considered in journal articles using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Informit:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:

General search instructions:

  • select Journals search template
  • search by article title or citation

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing an article considered in journal articles using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Informit:
HeinOnline:
Kluwer Law Online:
Lexis Advance:
Thomson Reuters Westlaw:
Westlaw AU:
Google Scholar:
Enter your research question

Use the Research Strategy Template to organise your legal research.

1.  Read a legal encyclopaedia, or journal article, to mine for search terms

2.  Find synonyms for the search terms

3.  Create search strings for searching databases - use Boolean connectors

4.  Follow the Five Steps to Legal Research

5.  Record all resources, including quotations and their page numbers

TIP: Ensure your reference complies with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation rules when you first access the resource - don't leave your referencing to the last minute.  See the Legal Citation Guide for easy citation.

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Law Library Face-To-Face Training Workshops

Law Library Face-To_Face Training Workshops

Mondays & Wednesdays 12.30pm - 1pm

Where: Library Computer Lab 1.015

Bring your lunch - learn while you re-fuel!

Mondays Wednesdays
Sourcing Acts & Regulations
          5 March
Sourcing Articles Considering Acts
          7 March
Sourcing Cases
          12 March
Sourcing Articles Considering Cases
          14 March
Sourcing Cases Considering Acts
          19 March
Sourcing Cases Considering Cases
          21 March
Sourcing Bills & Explanatory Memoranda (Cth)
          2 April
Sourcing Bills & Explanatory Memoranda (WA)
          4 April
Sourcing Second Reading Speeches (Cth)
          9 April
Sourcing Second Reading Speeches (WA)
          11 April
Sourcing Act Amendments (Cth)
          16 April
Sourcing Act Amendments (WA)
          18 April