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Referencing style - AGLC4: Cases

This Guide provides basic information on formatting references according to the Australian Guide to Legal Citation 4. It also provides information on using AGLC4 with EndNote.


Elements of a reported case citation

Example Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v Teoh (1995) 183 CLR 273 , 280
Element Case Name Year Volume Law Report Series Starting Page Pinpoint
AGLC Rule 2.1 2.2.1 2.2.1 2.2.2 2.2.4 2.2.5

The table below includes common examples of Reported and Unreported citations and the various elements to include and the formatting you need to use, to construct the citations correctly.


Material Type

(AGLC Rule)

Footnote Example

 Bibliography Example

Reported Judgments

(Rule 2)

1 Chamberlain v The Queen (No 2) (1984) 153 CLR 521, 522.

Chamberlain v The Queen (No 2) (1984) 153 CLR 521


Nydam v The Queen [1977] VR 430, 435. 

Nydam v The Queen [1977] VR 430


DPP (WA) v Silbert (2000) 112 A Crim R 88

DPP (WA) v Silbert (2000) 112 A Crim R 88


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v C G Berbatis Holdings Pty Ltd (2003) 214 CLR 51, 55. 

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v C G Berbatis Holdings Pty Ltd (2003) 214 CLR 51

Unreported Decisions with a Medium Neutral Citation (more info here)

(Rule 2.3.1)

1 Hornsby Shire Council v Commonwealth of Australia [2023] HCA 19, [11]. 

Hornsby Shire Council v Commonwealth of Australia [2023] HCA 19

Unreported Decisions without a Medium Neutral Citation (more info here)

(Rule 2.3.2)

1 York v Rowe (Supreme Court of Western Australia, Franklyn J, 18 January 1991) 1.

York v Rowe (Supreme Court of Western Australia, Franklyn J, 18 January 1991) 1


TIP ABOUT UNREPORTED CASESAlways check if an unreported decision has subsequently been reported.

When you come across unreported cases in the sources you read (text books or journal articles), you should always check to see if the unreported cases have been reported. You can do this very easily in either Lexis+ or Westlaw AU, by conducting a citation search.

Why you ask? When you cite cases, the reported version should be cited, if one is available. If you discover that an unreported case you want to use, has been reported in multiple reporters (known as parallel citations), that is, in an authorised report, as well a generalist and / or subject specific reporter/s (unauthorised reporter/s), the reported authorised version should be cited.

Here is an example: Assume you came across this case in a journal article: Giumelli v Giumelli [1999] HCA 10. This is the unreported version of the case. You will need to look the case up in one of the legal databases by doing a citation search - [1999] HCA 10 - as this is how you will be able to ascertain if the case has been reported anywhere. Looking up the case in Westlaw AU, reveals that this case has been reported in 2 reporters: the Commonwealth Law Reports (CLR) and the Australian Law Journal Reports (ALJR):

Of these 2 reporters, the CLR is the authorised version, so this is the one that you will need to cite in an essay. For more information on which reporter you should cite, please have a look at Rule 2.2.2 (page 50) of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation

[Note: Legal Databases and case citators such as CaseBase and KeyCite, are tools to find citations (such as cases, legislation, journal articles, etc.), but they are not 'referenceable' in their own right]. 

More info about citing cases

For more information about deciphering case citations, including unreported judgments, visit our Case Law guide

Common mistakes

When you cite a Case, certain elements must be included in the citation, but it is very easy to overlook certain elements and make common  mistakes. Here are some common mistakes that are made when citing Cases:

  • Not citing the correct version of a case - citing an unreported version that has been reported. See the TIP above for more information. 
  • Not italicising Party Names - See Rule 1.8.2 for more information. So always remember to italicise the Party Names when you cite Cases. 
  • Misspelling Party Names - always check that you have spelled the party names correctly.
  • Using the wrong brackets (  ) vs [   ] - NB: the brackets you use will depend on whether a Case is unreported, organised by volume number or organised by year. For more information please see the Case Citations tab of the Case Law Guide
  • Not providing the full reference of a Case when you first cite it. Regardless of the Case, your first citation, must be a full citation. 
  • Adding a p when you pinpoint (p 50) - page pinpoints don't require you to add a p before the number. See Rules 1.1.6 and 1.1.7 for more information on pinpoints. NB: When cases have pages, your pinpoints should be to pages. If a law report uses both page and paragraph numbers, page numbers should always be included as pinpoints and paragraph numbers may be included. See Rule 2.2.5 for this extra information on pinpoints.


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