UTS Library

16333 - Statutory Valuation and Litigation

This guide takes you through the steps necessary to search for cases and legislation.
If you have any questions please contact:
David.Litting@uts.edu.au (Property liaison for the library) or Seraphina.Goldsmith@uts.edu.au (law liaison for the library)

There are 2 main ways you can search for legal materials on compulsory acquisition - 1) either by looking for cases and then finding leglisation, or 2) by starting with legislation and then finding cases 

1. Searching for cases via LexisNexis's Casebase database
Once you arrive at Casebase you'll see a search interface like the one below. There are two places you could try placing your search terms into (you can even use a combination of the two) - search terms or catchwords








Placing your search terms in the top box is like a Google Search. Placing your search terms in catchwords is a bit like an abstract search in a journal article database - which is a bit more of a focused search. 

In terms of search strategies a good place to start is to use "compuslory acquisition" combined with another word or words pertinent to your assignment, for example:
compensation / disturbance / rezoning etc.

Below is a catchword search for compulsory acquisition compensation. There are 179 results, filed by newest to oldest. You can use the sort results by option to prioritize relevance if you want. Now that we know we have 179 results we may be able to use the narrow search box to another word to the search, and see if we get anything. Perhaps the word rezoning. 





The added criteria of rezoning gives us 6 results..




When you look at a list of results and also when you look at a particular case you'll see a mark indicating signals.



These are supplied by the database maker and are interpretive. There are a variety of signals out there - if you'd like to know more about what  they mean you can refer to this page from the LexisNexis help section

When you arrive at a case you'll see the plaintiffs and also the catchwords and digest (see pic below). The catchwords and digest are a summary of the judgement. For the full text of the judgement click one of the hyperlinked citations below the case name - eg:  [2014] QCA 356







Within the case description you'll find a list of cases that cited the one you are looking at and also a list of cases that were cited in the judgement. You will also see any legislation that was considered in the making of the judgement:




From there you can link to the act and then look up the relevant sections. 








Clicking the double arrows next to the section title will give you legal materials related to this section of the act.

2. Search for Legislation and find cases that way

The other way you can find cases is to use LexisNexis' LawNow service to look up a piece of legislation such as the Land Acquisitions Act and then search for the terms supplied in the table on your assignment question. This is epecially useful for some of the legal terms that don't hit in the catchword search in Casebase - terms like severance and public purpose.

To find legislation (eg: The Land Acquisitions Act 1991 NSW)  first choose browse (see pic below). 




Then choose the state you want. Now you can look the act up under L in all acts by title. Or you can choose current acts by subject and then select Real Property from the next page.






When you find the legislation, eg: LAND ACQUISITION (JUST TERMS COMPENSATION) ACT 1991 you can use CTRL-F (or command-F) to look up your terms, eg: severance (See below)

 Click the double arrows and you'll be shown cases and other legal materials to do with that particular clause of the legislation.


To flesh out your assignment you can also use journal article from either Google Scholar or the Hein Online database. 
Once you arrive at Hein Online choose the Law Journal Library:



Then, run a search, eg: "highest and best use" Australia.

Hein online has the added feature of being able to filter by peer reviewed material after you search:

PDF icon Using LexisNexis and law databases.pdf262.76 KB