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Case Law: Find a case by topic

This Guides provides information relating to how to look for specific Cases, using different methods. It also includes links to various databases, to enable you locate Australian Case Law and Cases from other Jurisdictions.

Finding cases by topic

If you don't have a specific case in mind, you can search by subject for relevant cases. Search with keywords & phrases using Boolean search operators and applying search limits like jurisdiction or date, to create very specific search results.

Note: different databases use different search operators! 

Type search words & phrases into the Lexis+ single search box for comprehensive searching. Use the search filters to the left, like Jurisdiction or Court if you are finding too many results


Or Browse or Search by Topic:


To find a case by topic using the Westlaw AU database, you can type search words & phrases into the Free Text Search box. The automatic default will be Cases. You can select from the other search limits for more specific case law results. For instance Jurisdiction, Date, Practice Area, Judge etc. Hover over the search Tips for an overview of how to construct your searches.


Watch these 4 Westlaw AU videos, for an overview on how to search for cases by topic, using various other methods such as advanced searching and Boolean terms and connectors. Please note: after you click on the image, you will be taken to Westlaw AU's Training and Support page. To watch the videos, click on the white play button. 



For some other methods on how to find cases on a topic in Westlaw AU, have a look at these Guides :

How to search using Boolean

To help refine your keyword searches it is recommended that you use Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT).  These operators help connect your search terms and are used to broaden or narrow your search results.

AND - Placing AND between search terms instructs the database that both terms must appear somewhere in the results list.

NOT - When you place NOT before a keyword search it instructs the database that the keyword must not appear anywhere in the entry.

OR - Using OR between keywords instructs the database to search either or both of the keywords in the results list.

You are able to combine any of the Boolean operators to build very specific searches.

Find Australian 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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