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Law: Cases

What is Case Law?

Case Law, or Common Law, is the law developed over time by judges in the superior courts.  Each case or judgment is the solution to a dispute between two parties that has been determined by the trial judge or bench of court judges. These decisions become the precedent on which further court disputes will be settled.

Case Law is a major source of law even in areas governed by legislation. Case law research involves reading judgments and understanding the reasons behind how the law has been applied by the judge.

Case Law research

Click the topics below for relevant information:

Case Structure / Court Hierarchy

  • Case structure
  • The Australian court system and hierarchy

Case Reporting

  • Authorised reports
  • Reported and unreported cases

Case Citators and Finding Cases

  • Understanding case citation - identifying a reported or an unreported citation
  • Case citators
  • Using case citators to:
    • Find a case on a specific topic
    • Find a case when you know the citation
    • Find a case considering legislation

International Cases

  • International databases -  UK /  NZ /  Canada / US / India