UTS Library

Case Law

In this guide:

This is a study guide designed to help you find legal cases. Most of the resources mentioned relate to Australian case law, although there are also links to databases containing international legal cases. This study guide describes the formal citation of cases and then goes on to provide links to Australian law report series and to the two major online case citators, Casebase (Lexis Advance) and Firstpoint (Westlaw AU).


The Case Citation

The case citation has one purpose: to provide sufficient information so that the cited item (case or journal article) can be located easily.

McBain v Victoria (2000) 99 FCR 116

Party names: McBain v Victoria (Plaintiff v Defendant)

Judgement Date: 2000

Volume Number: 99

Report Title: FCR Federal Court Reports (Report titles are abbreviated)

Page Number: 116


Medium Neutral Citation and Unreported Cases

Medium neutral citations are the preferred form of citation for unreported judgments. The format of the citation makes it applicable to both printed and electronic versions of the judgment hence the term medium neutral.

Unreported judgments are decisions of the courts which have not been published either because they are too recent or the case is not considered significant in terms of the law. Remember that it can take several months for a case to appear in a published report. Unreported judgments may later be published in law report series and be given a print citation.



  • Lexis Advance Pacific contains the New South Wales Law Reports and the Australian Law Reports
  • Westlaw Firstpoint contains the Commonwealth Law Reports , the Australian Criminal Reports and the Australian Digest
  • Austlii Lawcite includes links to Law Reform Commission reports and journal articles