Skip to main content

Australian law: Cases

Unlocking Australian case citations

See the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations for help with turning abbreviations into titles of law reports, and vice versa.
The prelims of the latest Australian Case Citator bound volume (Cw Austral 160 A938b) can help translate abbreviations to full title too.

Citations to cases have the folllowing parts-

  • Title: formed by the two parties names. 
  • Year
  • Volume number (if there is one) 
  • Abbreviation for the law report series.
  • Number of the first page of the report.

For example-

Ackroyd v McKechnie (1986) 161 CLR 60

More detailed information about case citation can be found in the

Australian cases: online sources

Australia is part of the common law tradition, which views the decisions of the court room as a primary source of law, and follows the doctrine of precedent.  

Australian court decisions are accessible both in print in the Law Bod (see box to left), and from the following online sources-

Australian law reports in the LawBod

Australian law reports are shelved on Floor 1.  Federal law report series come first, alphabetical by title.Next there are some law reports relating to individual states and territories.  See tables for below for more detailed information.

Federal reports-

Abbreviation   Title Shelf mark
CLR Commonwealth Law Reports Cw Austral 100 C30
FCR Federal Court Reports Cw Austral 100 F20
ALR Australian Law Reports Cw Austral 100 A15
ACLR Australian Company Law Reports Cw Austral 100 A25
ACSR Australian Corporation and Securities Reports  Cw Austral 100 A26
ACR Australian Criminal Reports  Cw Austral 100 A27
Fam LR Family Law Reports  Cw Austral 100 F10

 

 Other jurisdictions-

Abbreviation   Title Shelf mark
NSWLR New South Wales Law Reports   Cw Austral NSW 100 N30
Qd.R. Queensland Reports  Cw Austral Qu 100 Q50
SASR South Australian State Reports  Cw Austral SA 100 S65
Tas R Tasmanian Reports  Cw Austral Tas 100 T30
V.R. Victorian Reports Cw Austral Vict 100 V30
WALR Western Australian Reports  Cw Austral WA 100 W30

 

In addition the LawBod has LRC Law Reports of the Commonwealth (in the wider sense) at Cw Gen 100 L30 a series which claims to pick up " the key cases whose significance transcends local boundaries."