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Case Law: Other jurisdictions

Other jurisdictions

Law Reports

Cases of legal significance from the higher courts and tribunals are reported in numerous series of law reports. However, cases from the lower courts (Magistrates’ courts, County courts and Crown Court) are very rarely reported and those which do not establish a noteworthy legal point are not reported at all.

Until 1865 case reporting was done by private court reporters; the resultant publications are called the nominate reports, because they are usually known by the name of the reporter. The nominate reports have been gathered together in a 178-volume collection called the English Reports (1220 - 1873), which makes them relatively easy to find.

In 1865 the reporting of cases was systematised by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR), which started publishing series collectively known as The Law Reports. These are the most authoritative source of case law and should be cited in preference to other series where there is a choice. 

The Law Reports (1865- ) comprises four separate series: Appeal Cases, Chancery Division, Queens Bench and Family Division. Judgments of the House of Lords and Privy Council appear in Appeal Cases; High Court cases appear in the series relating to the appropriate court division (e.g. Chancery); cases heard by the Court of Appeal do not appear in the Appeal Cases series, but in the series dedicated to the High Court division from which the case was appealed. 

UK Authorised Reports

The Law Reports series edited and published by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR) for England and Wales are the authorised reports. The full text of some cases are available in Westlaw UK, some in ICLR Online. The case citations and analyses can be located in Westlaw UK.

Coverage begins from 1865+ and includes cases from the following current and historical UK superior courts.

Admiralty and Ecclesiatical Cases (1865-75) A. & E.
Appeal Cases A.C.
Appeal Cases (1875-90) App. Cas.
Chancery Appeals (1865-75) Ch. App.
Chancery Division Ch.
Chancery Division (1875-90) Ch. D.
Common Pleas (1865-75) C.P.
Common Pleas Division (1865-80) C.P.D.
Crown Cases Reserved (1865-75) C.C.R.
English and Irish Appeals (1866-75) H.L.
Equity Cases (1865-75) Eq.
Exchequer (1865-75) Ex.
Exchequer Division (1875-80) Ex. D.
Family Division Fam.
Kings Bench K.B.
Privy Council (1865-75) P.C.
Probate P.
Probate and Divorce (1865-75) P. & D.
Probate Division (1875-90) P.D.
Queens Bench (1865-75 and post 1891) Q.B.
Queens Bench Division (1875-90) Q.B.D.
 

https://onesearch.library.uwa.edu.au/permalink/61UWA_INST/1iju3hj/alma9952130402101Finding the Law Reports series

The judgement text of many cases in The Law Reports series can be found in ICLR Online. Print copies of The Law Reports series can be found on Level 3 of the Beasley Law Library. 

Case citations and analyses are available in Westlaw UK.

Example:

To located a UK case in Westlaw UK by citation:

  1. Click on the Cases tab in the Westlaw UK database - this is situated along the top of the screen
  2. Enter the citation into the Citation search field
  3. Click Search to access the Case Analysis

To locate a UK case in Westlaw UK by party name:

  1. Access the Westlaw UK database and click on the Cases tab - this is situated at the top of the screen
  2. Enter the party name/s into the Party Names field
  3. Click on Search to access the Case Analysis

The ICLR also publishes the Weekly Law Reports (1954- ) and a few other series.

The All England Law Reports (1936 - ) is the only other general series of law reports. These are available online in Lexis Advance US. In addition there are a large number of specialised reports from various other publishers, covering different areas of law.

More Information:

A Guide to the UK Legal System (Globalex)

UK Caselaw (lawbore: the law student's guide)

ICLR Knowledge and Training Guides


 

The New Zealand Law Reports (NZLR) are the authorised reports of the New Zealand Council for Law Reporting

UWA print holdings

Online

Unreported judgments from various courts are available in NZLII

 

Official (authorised) report series

Supreme Court Reports 

UWA print holdings:

Online:

Federal Courts Reports (FCR)

Formerly called the Federal Court Reports (FC), from 1971-2003

Online:

Other report series

UWA print holdings:

Online (various reports):

  • Lexis Advance
  • Thomson Reuters Westlaw

Unreported judgments

Judgments of the Supreme Court of Canada: 1907-present (plus some back to 1876) 

Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal decisions: decisions since 1997.

CanLII: covers federal and provincial courts. Provides unofficial (unreported) judgments with parallel citations to reported judgments.

Other courts' websites are listed here: Department of Justice page.

United States Authorised Report:

Court Report Series Abbreviation UWA holdings
United States Supreme Court United States United States Reports US Print Law Reports Collection P 345.4

Unofficial United States Reports:

Court Report Series Abbreviation UWA holdings
United States Court of Appeals Federal Reporter F Welshpool
United States District Courts Federal Supplement F Supp Welshpool

Early US Case Law can be found in Hein OnlineMany US cases can be found online in Thomson Reuters Westlaw or Lexis Advance: US Research module, which can be found by opening Lexis Advance, selecting the menu icon in the top left-hand corner and choose US Research:

 

Find foreign cases

Banner images: Image 1 retrieved from Pixabay. Image 2 by UWA Library. Image 3 retrieved from SBS. Image 4 retrieved from SL Blogs. Image 5 retrieved from Wikimedia.

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