Case law

5. Using case citators

The main role of a case citator is to provide you with information about cases. In Australian legal databases, any judgment of a superior court will have a citator document that includes information about the:

  • status of the case
  • publication and citation details
  • litigation history — whether the case has gone on appeal and been subsequently affirmed or reversed
  • subsequent judicial treatment — how later judges have treated the decision
  • consideration of earlier cases
  • secondary sources that cite the case
  • legislation considered by the case.

You should always check the citator document of a case before relying on a case.

Accessing the citator document

CaseBase (Lexis Advance)

If you search for Commonwealth v Tasmania (1983) 158 CLR 1, on the Lexis Advance platform you will be able to access the citator via the CaseBase link in your search results.

Screenshot showing how to access CaseBase in LexisAdvance

FirstPoint (Westlaw)

If you search the same case, on the Westlaw AU platform you will be able to access the citator via the FirstPoint link.

Screenshot showing how to access FirstPoint in Westlaw AU

Access the CaseBase record for Momcilovic v R (2011) 245 CLR 1. Did this case consider the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic)?  
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