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Self Paced Lesson - Case Law - Subject Guide: 4: Source Case From Party Name


Question: How do you find a case when you do not have the full citation, or you are not sure if the citation you have is correct?

Answer: Citators are the most useful research tools to assist with this task. Murdoch students have online access to subscription case citators including CaseBase (on Lexis Advance), the Digest (on Westlaw Australia) and vLexJustis (for UK cases).


Case Citators

A case citator is a specialist research tool which indexes and annotates cases within a jurisdiction. The main Australian case citators are Westlaw Australia's Digest, CaseBase (Lexis Advance) and Lawcite (AustLII). Cases are listed with the full case citation enabling you to locate the case online or in print.

JustCite is an important UK based citator that is increasing its coverage of many jurisdictions. Although the direct links to databases do not always work (as we do not always have access to that particular coverage), you can take the citations you have found to other databases to find full text versions.

CaseBase, Digest and LawCite provide additional information indicating the current status or standing of a case in Australia. They also provide links to secondary sources discussing the case, and the list of cases considered by the judges as they made their decision in the case you are researching.

The following topics will take you through the research process using the main Australian research tools for case law: CaseBase, Digest and LawCite. You will learn how to:

  1. Complete a case citation
  2. Establish the status of a case
  3. Find other cases which have judicially considered a case
  4. Find other cases on the same subject

A few notes to help you understand Citation notes

R stands for Regina (The Queen), or Rex (The King). You will see that there is sometimes a variation in the citation of a case. For instance R v Arndel (1906) 3 CLR 557 was initially written up as The King, on the Prosecution of Harard Freeman v Arndel. Today it is cited as R v Arndel.

In more recent cases McInnis v R (1979) 143 CLR 575 might be cited in some places as McInnis v The Queen (1979) 143 CLR 575, or as McInnis (1979) 143 CLR 575

Where many people are part of an action the first party's name is usually cited with & Ors (and others).

If there are only two parties the second party may be cited as & Anor (and another). Sometimes only the first party is cited in a citation, e.g. Mabo & Ors v State of Queensland and Ors (No. 2) is usually cited as Mabo v State of Queensland (No. 2)

The Australian Guide to Legal Citation requires that '& Ors' and '& Another' not be used, with only the first named plaintiff and the first named defendant being cited (ALGC rule 2.1.1).

Source Cases by Party Name in Lexis Advance

Lexis Advance can be accessed via the link on the Law Subject Guide.  

Task: You are looking for a case which was heard in the High Court of Australia and was related to constitutional law. One of the parties' names was Bradley.

Quick Find

Advanced Search

Step 1: On Lexis Advance homepage, type the party name Bradley into the Case Name search box in Quick Find

Step 1: From the Lexis Advance homepage, click on Advanced Search and then select Cases from the drop-down menu.

Step 2: Click on Search

Step 2: Type constitution! into the Terms box.

The exclamation mark is a truncator. This means that the database will search for constitution, constitutional, constitutionalism or constitutions.

Step 3: Click on Search Within results, to the left of screen, in the Narrow By filters

Step 3: Enter any details of the parties' names of which you are aware in the Case Name box.

Step 4: Type constitution! into the Terms box.

Step 4: Select the Jurisdiction as Commonwealth and for the Court select the High Court of Australia.

Step 5: Navigate down the Results list to 

Bradley v Commonwealth

Step 5: Click on Select Courts.  This will create a pop-up window from which you can select one or more courts using check boxes.  Check the box next to High Court of Australia and then click OK.

Step 6: Click on Search


Step 7: Look through the results list until you find the case with Bradley as a party name and was held in the High Court of Australia.

Bradley v Commonwealth (1973) 1 ALR 214

Clicking on the title of the case will take you to the CaseBase entry.  You can find the full text by clicking on the blue hyperlinked ALR citation, and then selecting Download Document on the right-hand side of the page.  This will allow you to download the PDF version to the case and view the case as it appears in the print version of the Australian Law Reports.


Source Cases by Party Name in Westlaw Australia

Westlaw Australia can be accessed via the link on the Law Subject Guide.  

You are looking for a case which was heard in the High Court of Australia and was related to constitutional law.
One of the parties' names was Bradley.

Step 1:

Select Cases from the Content types on the Westlaw Australia home page

Step 1:

Step 2:

Select Advanced search


Step 2:

Step 3:

Complete the search fields

If you know more details, add these to the relevant text box


In the All of these terms text box type constitution!

The exclamation mark is a truncator.
This means that the database will search for
constitution, constitutional, constitutionalism or constitutions.

Add any details of the parties' names of which you are aware in the Case Title/Party Name text box.

Enter the court name in the Court text box. 


Step 3:

Step 4:

Click the magnifying glass icon to Search.


Step 5:

Select relevant result


From the results, look for the case where one of the parties is Bradley, and where the case was heard in the High Court of Australia:

Bradley v Commonwealth (1973) 128 CLR 557.

Click on the PDF icon next to the citation, and you will be taken to the case as it appears in the Commonwealth Law Reports.

Clicking on the case name will take you to the Digest entry, which gives an overview of the case, citing references (cases and articles), and the Table of Authorities, which includes cases and legislation considered by the case.


Included in the Results record:

  • Digest
  • case name
  • common/famous name in brackets beside the case name
  • parallel citations in order of authority (most authoritative is first, then decreasing order)
  • KeyCite numbers
  • Catchwords
  • Jurisdiction
  • Court
  • Judgment Date​
  • Negative Treatment
  • History
  • Citing References
  • Table of Authorities

Click on the Other Versions drop-down arrow to access the authorised version


Source Cases by Party Name in AustLII using LawCite

AustLII can be accessed via the link on the Law Subject Guide.  

  • Click on the LawCite link, at the far right end in the red ribbon on the AustLII home page
  • If you know the parties involved in a case you should enter significant elements of the parties' names. For instance, if you were looking for a case involving someone called Bradley and you knew it had something to do with the Commonwealth, you might type
    • Bradley in the first Parties box
    • Commonwealth in the Jurisdiction box
    • High Court of Australia in the Court box
      You should get 8 results.

There is no way to refine a search in LawCite, so make sure you have enough information when looking for a case on this database.

Hint:  LawCite is a free online resource. You do not need to go through Murdoch University to access it.

Source Cases by Party Name in Jade Using CaseTrace

Jade can be accessed via the link on the Law Subject Guide.  

Step 1: Access Jade

Step 2:  In the search pane at the top of the screen, add Bradley AND constitution

Step 3: Select Search now

Step 4: Refine the Search results by court

  • click in the text box for Filter by collection
  • From the drop down offering, select High Court of Australai (HCA)
  • Click on the filter now button
  • suggestions, select Mabo v Queensland (No.2) [1992] HCA 23; 175 CLR 1 - document in Jade

Step 5: From the Results list, use the Summary tab to view each case to determine the required case

  • select the entry for the case

    Bradley v the Commonwealth
    [1973] HCA 34 (10 September 1973) (. Barwick C.J., McTiernan, Menzies, Gibbs and Stephen JJ.)
    128 CLR 557; 47 ALJR 504

  • CaseTrace entry (summary pane to the right of screen) provides:
    • Citations
    • Number of citations to this case (cases citing this case)
    • most recent case citing this case
    • Number of cases cited
    • Statutory material cited (legislation)
    • link to Jade Citator (searches for all references to the case)
    • link to Citation report  which provides:
    • Legislation cited by this case
    • Cases citing this case
    • Cases cited by this case
      • Cited Documents - case and legislation used to support the arguments made in the case
      • Citing References - cases, commentary and articles written about the case

Step 6: Select the Focus matches button to navigate quickly to the relevant sections of the case 

  • Select the Show in document button to return to the original full text

Step 6: Use the Visualisation tools to represent the CaseTrace information graphically

Step 7: Use the Print and Export option to download the PDF version of the case


Source Cases by Party Name in vLexJustis

vLexJustis provides access to reported versions of UK and EU cases via direct links from citations to the source of the report.

vLexJustis can be accessed via the link on the Law Subject Guide.  

Task: You are looking for a case which was heard by the King's Bench and was related to marriage law. One of the parties' names was Balfour.

Step 1: At the vLexJustis homepage, select Advanced from the left hand menu.

Step 2: Select the Cases tab

Step 3: Put any details of the parties' names of which you are aware in the Party Name box.

Step 4: Click Search

Step 5: Select the result for Balfour v Balfour

Step 6: vLexJustis does not have the full text of this judgment.

Resources provided in the Balfour v Balfour [1919] 2 KB 571 record are:

  • cited cases
  • cited legislation
  • citing cases
  • categories
  • Citations and Sources (links to to other full text sources)
  • Precedent Map 

Step 7: To access the full text of the judgment, in Citations and Sources, select the ICLR icon, as Murdoch has a subscription to the ICLR database

Activity indicator1.Use a citator such as Westlaw Australia or Casebase (Lexis Advance) or LawCite (AustLII) to complete the following citations.

 The case between Dietrich v The Queen is cited as:

a. Dietrich v The Queen (1992) 175 CLR 1
b. Dietrich v The Queen (1992) 177 CLR 292
c. Dietrich v The Queen (1973) 128 CLR 557



Activity indicator 2. The correct citation for the Mabo case is:

a. Mabo v State of Queensland (No 2) (1992) 175 CLR 1
b. Mabo v State of Queensland (No 2) (1992) 177 CLR 292
c. Mabo v State of Queensland  (No 2) (1973) 128 CLR 557


Activity indicator3. What are the citation details for the case between Hamersley and Newton?

a. Hamersley v Newton [2006] WASC 7
b. Hamersley v Newton (2005) 30 WAR 568
c. Hamersley v Newton (1973) 128 CLR 557
d. Hamersley v Newton (2008) 54 WAR 213


Activity indicator4. What is the correct citation for Wallis v Miller?

a. Wallis v Miller (1973) 128 CLR 557
b. Wallis v Miller (2005) 30 WAR 568
c. Wallis v Miller [2006] WASC 7