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Law: Case Reporting

Authorised Reports

Before being published, some law report series are checked for accuracy by the judges - these are known as authorised reports

The Courts require the most authorised law report version be cited, so it is good practice to follow this now during your studies.

  • Where a case/judgment has been reported in a number of law report series, the authorised report series takes precedence over other report series, and this authorised report version must be cited.
  • If your case/judgment has been reported, but not in an authorised report series, this unauthorised report version should be cited.
  • You may only cite an unreported case if it does not appear in any reported series (authorised / unauthorised), and then preferably using the medium neutral citation assigned by the Court.

See below for a list of authorised reports.

Reported / Unreported Cases

Common Law precedent requires authoritative reporting of decisions that can be referred to by lawyers involved in later cases. Councils of Law Reporting were set up to select and publish in authorised report series. Judgments that set some precedent or raise a significant point of law are generally chosen to be reported in the authorised series.

Australian publishers of report series  (* denotes an Authorised report series)

Abbreviation Title
 AAR  Administrative Appeals Reports
 A Crim R  Australian Criminal Reports
 ALJR  Australian Law Journal Reports
 CLR  Commonwealth Law Reports *
 FCR  Federal Court Reports *
 FLR  Federal Law Reports
 IR  Industrial Reports *
 LGERA  Local Government and Environmental Reports of Australia 
 NTLR  Northern Territory Law Reports *
 SASR  South Australian State Reports *
 SR (WA)  State Reports (WA)
 Tas R  Tasmanian Reports *
 WAR  Western Australian Reports *
 Unreported judgments
Abbreviation Title
 ALD  Administrative Law Decisions *
 All ER  All England Law Reports
 ACTLR  Australian Capital Territory Law Reports *
 ACLR  Australian Company Law Reports
 ACSR  Australian Corporations & Securities Reports    
 ALR  Australian Law Reports
 Fam LR  Family Law Reports
 IPR  Intellectual Property Reports
 MVR  Motor Vehicle Reports
 NSWLR  New South Wales Law Reports *
 NZLR  New Zealand Law Reports *
 NTR  Northern Territory Reports
 QCLLR  Queensland Crown Lands Law Reports
 QR  /  Qd R  Queensland Reports *
 VR  Victorian Reports *
 Unreported judgments

 

Abbreviation Title
 ANZ Ins Cas  Australian and New Zealand Insurance Cases
 ANZ ConvR  Australian and New Zealand Conveyancing Reports
   Australian Child Support Cases
 ACLC  Australian Company Law Cases
   Australian Competition and Consumer Cases
   Australian Consumer Credit Law Cases
   Australian Consumer Sales and Credit Law Cases
   Australian Contract Law Cases
   Australian De facto Relationship Cases
   Australian Equal Opportunity Cases
   Australian Family Law Cases
   Australian Family Law Western Australian Cases
   Australian GST Cases
 AILR  Australian Industrial Law Reports
   Australian Industrial Property Cases

 AIPC

 Australian Intellectual Property Cases
   Australian Medical Liability Leading Cases
   Australian Personal Property Securities Cases
   Australian Sales and Fair Trading Law Cases
   Australian Social Security Cases
   Australian Superannuation Cases

 ATC

 Australian Tax Cases
   Australian Torts Cases
   Australian Uniform Evidence Law Cases
   Australian Work Health and Safety Law Cases
 AWCR  Australian Workers Compensation Review
   New South Wales Conveyancing Law Cases
   New South Wales Strata and Community Titles Cases  
   Queensland Conveyancing Law Cases
V Conv R  Victorian Conveyancing Law Cases

Many cases from the courts are not published in a law report series - these are Unreported Cases.
Since 1997, unreported cases are recognisable by the use of medium neutral citation.  This citation is assigned by the court and includes the year of hearing, unique court identifier and a judgment number.
An unreported (medium neutral) citation should only be used when a case has not been included in a reported series. 

Unreported cases are available via court websites, AustLii, Jade BarNet and via ECU's legal database subscriptions.

Federal Courts

State Courts

 

Note:  Some cases are not made available for various reasons, this could be due to suppression orders  (especially in criminal cases) or other reason. Some courts and tribunals do not publish decisions in any way, e.g. the Magistrates Court decisions of WA are not published. You may be able to request a transcript of a hearing where no decision is published but generally you will have to be a party to the matter.