Case law

Research Guide for finding cases and law reports at the State Library of NSW and freely available online

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available

Cases Pre 1900

Finding cases from before 1900

You can find cases on the following websites. You will need to know the name of court or tribunal, the year of decision and the names of the parties.

Other states and territories

United Kingdom

Legal information at the Library

This Guide has been developed by staff of the Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC), State Library of NSW. The State Library holds an extensive collection of case law, legislation and looseleaf publications.

Defining cases and law reports

A decision of a court or a tribunal is often called a 'judgment', 'case', 'determination' or 'finding'.  In this guide we use the term case.

Finding law reports using the Catalogue

Tip! Type in exact name of law report - for example Motor Vehicle Reports

Why can't I find a case?

Not all cases are available.  

Courts select and provide decisions for publication, usually on the grounds of legal significance.  

Just because a case is well known doesn't mean it has been published in print, or on the internet. 

Abbreviations - law reports

If the title of the law report or journal is abbreviated, you will need to find the full title before searching the Library Catalogue.