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Law reports

Always cite from an authorised report if it is available, in preference to an unauthorised report. Cite unreported judgments only if the case has not been otherwise reported. You can find a list of authorised law reports here


Unreported judgments

Over hundreds of years judges have been deciding cases. Their decisions have developed a body of legal principles known as 'common law'.

Before judgments are published, many courts make them available online as Unreported judgments, sometimes referred to as medium neutral citations.

Significant cases that reflect important points of law are published in law reports. These can either be:

  1. Authorised - these are reviewed by judge for accuracy before publication. Here is a list of authorised law reports organised by jurisdiction.
  2. Unauthorised - may be published more quickly and can appear in a specialised report series on a particular area of law e.g. torts, criminal law.

Cases may be published in multiple law reports.

Citation hierarchy in order of preference:

  1. Authorised (See authorised reports)
  2. Unauthorised
  3. Unreported

Citation elements

Authorised Law report series

Court Law Report Title Abbreviation
High Court Commonwealth Law Reports 1903- CLR
Federal Court Federal Court Reports 1984- FCR
Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Administrative Law Decisions 1976-

Lexis Advance (1976- )


Australian Industrial Relations Commission; 

Fair Work Australia; 

Fair Work Commission;

Industrial Relations Commission of NSW

Industrial Reports 1981- IR
Supreme Court of New South Wales

New South Wales Law Reports 1970-

Westlaw (1970- )


New South Wales Reports 1960-1971

Hardcopy St Benedict's R/KH/75/NSWR


New South Wales Law Reports 1880-1900

AustLII (1856-1900) (scanned copies of originals

Supreme Court of Victoria

Victorian Reports 1957-

Lexis Advance (1957- )


Victorian Law Reports 1875-1956

AustLII (1875-1956) (scanned copies of originals)

Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory Law Reports 2008-

Westlaw (2008- )


Australian Capital Territory Reports 1973-2008

Lexis Advance (1973-2008)

Supreme Court of the Northern Territory

Northern Territory Law Reports 1991-

Westlaw (1991- )


Northern Territory Reports 1979-1991

Lexis Advance (1979-1991)

Supreme Court of Queensland

Queensland Reports 1958-

Lexis Advance (1974- )

Supreme Court of South Australia South Australian State Reports 1971- SASR

State Reports South Australia 1921-70

AustLII (1920-1950) (scanned copies of originals)

Supreme Court of Tasmania

Tasmanian Reports 1979-

Westlaw (1992- )

AustLII (1979-1991) (scanned copies of originals)

Tas R

Tasmanian State Reports 1941-1978

AustLII (1941-1978) (scanned copies of originals)

Tas SR

Tasmanian Law Reports 1904-1940

AustLII (1904-1940) (scanned copies of originals)

Tas LR
Supreme Court of Western Australia

Western Australian Reports 1960-

Westlaw (1960- )


Western Australian Law Reports 1899-1959

AustLII (1899-1959) (scanned copies of originals)


Finding a case from a citation

Use an abbreviations guide to find out the full title of the report series:


  • Australian Law Reports
  • Unreported decisions: Use AustLII or Jade. They are also in both Lexis Advance (see CaseBase) and Westlaw AU.
  • UK Reported series: Justis is an easy index with direct links into ICLR (publisher of UK Authorised reports)

Finding cases on a topic

Use secondary resources such as books, journals, commentaries and encyclopaedias to find cases on a particular area of law.

Case Citators

Use Case Citators to help locate judgments when you:

  • Have an incomplete or incorrect citation
  • Require cases on a topic
  • Track later cases

Case Citators provide:

  1. Complete citation, including parallel citations
  2. Links to full text of judgment
  3. Name and date of judgment
  4. Presiding judge
  5. Litigation history
  6. Cases considered and cited
  7. Any later cases that have considered this case
Case citators