Cases

Many decisions are made by courts and tribunals each day. The decisions that are made, transcribed and released are called judgments. See our Judgments page for more information.

Select judgments are published in law reports series depending on the significance of the decision, for example, if the judgment changes the law or provides a new perspective on a particular point of law.

The following table describes the difference between reported and unreported judgments and authorised and unauthorised law reports: 

Judgment

Access

Authorised

A reported judgment that has court approval prior to publication.

  • The preferred version (where available) for use in court, or citation in scholarly publications
  • Generally available in print and in Online Collections. Online reports are often only available via subscription databases.

Reported

A judgment that has been deemed significant (i.e. precedent value) and reported in law reports.

  • Available in printed reports and in Online Collections. Online reports are often only available via subscription databases.

Unreported

A judgment delivered in court.

More information

For more information about case law research and the Australian court system see the Melbourne University Australian Case Law Research Guide.

For more information about judgments and the conventions for citing them, see the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (published by the University of Melbourne) and the Court Cases in Australia Guide (published by the State Library of Victoria).