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CheckLIST: Law

Authorised Law Reports

Why are Authorised Law Reports Important?

Authorised or official series of reports: A series of reports which has been given official approval by the judiciary (Council of Law Reporting).

  • In each jurisdiction only one series is designated authorised. 
  • Cases which enunciate a general principle or point of law are usually included in the authorised series of reports.

Unauthorised series of reports (authoritative reports):

  • Are produced more quickly and are often directed towards specialist practitioners. 
  • Include reports of cases which may be later published in an authorised series
  • Can also include reports which may be only of transient interest, or illustrate the application of authoritative cases.

Cases may appear in several series depending on editorial interest and the importance of the case. For example High Court decisions are reported in the Commonwealth Law Reports (CLR), Australian Law Reports (ALR) and Australian Law Journal Reports (ALJR). The ALR and ALJR are unauthorised series and the CLR authorised. A decision may be reported in all three series.

Australian Authorised Law Reports

Court Authorised Report Series Citation
High Court Commonwealth Law Reports 1903-   Westlaw AU CLR
Federal Court Federal Court Reports 1984-    Westlaw AU FCR

- Administrative Appeals Tribunal 
- Reports of cases on appeal from the Tribunal 
- Other decisions relating generally to Administrative law

Administrative Law Decisions 1976-  Lexis Advance ALD
Supreme Court of Victoria Victorian Reports 1957-  Lexis Advance
Victorian Law Reports 1875-1956
Supreme Court of New South Wales New South Wales Law Reports 1970-  Westlaw AU  and Lexis Advance
State Reports NSW 1901-1970
New South Wales Law Reports 1825 - 1900
Supreme Court of the
Australian Capital Territory
Australian Capital Territory Law Reports 2008-  Westlaw AU ACTLR
Supreme Court of Northern Territory Northern Territory Law Reports 1991-   Westlaw AU NTLR
Supreme Court of Queensland Queensland Reports 1958- Queensland Judgments
State Reports. Queensland 1902-57
St R Qd
Supreme Court of South Australia South Australian State Reports 1971-  Westlaw AU
State Reports. South Australia 1921-71
South Australian Law Reports 1865-1920
Supreme Court of Tasmania Tasmanian Reports 1979-  Westlaw AU  and AustLII
State Reports Tasmania 1941-1978
Tasmanian Law Reports 1897-1940
Tas R
Tas SR
Supreme Court of Western Australia Western Australian Reports 1960-   Westlaw AU
Western Australian Law Reports 1899-1959  Westlaw AU and AustLII


Why you should use authorised law reports!