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Locating Federal Unreported Judgments

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: 

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Judgment

Access

Authorised

  • A judgment that has been approved by the court to be published.
  • The preferred version (where available) for use in court, or citation in scholarly publications.
  • Generally available in print and Digital Collections. Online reports are often only available via subscription databases.
  • See the Authorised Reports resource guide for more information.

Reported

  • A judgment that has been deemed significant (i.e. precedent value) and reported in law reports.
  • Available in printed reports and Digital Collections. Online reports are often only available via subscription databases.

Unreported

  • A judgment delivered in court.
  • The Law Library of Victoria indexes recent judgments of the High Court of Australia for easy reference. To access all High Court decisions visit the High Court Judgments Database.
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Locating Unreported Judgments

Court

Subscription Resources

Free Resources

High Court of Australia

Lexis Advance (1903- )

Westlaw AU (1933- )

Capital Monitor (1996- )

High Court of Australia (1903-)

Law Library of Victoria Catalogue (1950- )

AustLII (1903- )

JADE (1903-)

High Court of Australia Special Leave Dispositions

Capital Monitor (1996- )

High Court of Australia (1903-)

AustLII (2008- )

JADE (2008 - )

High Court of Australia Transcripts

Note: The Court has its own Court reporting service which provides an accurate transcript of the proceedings of the High Court for the use of the Justices. (Source www.hcourt.gov.au/publications/judgments/transcripts

 

Capital Monitor (2003- )

High Court of Australia (1903-)

AustLII  (1983- )

JADE (1983- )

Family Court of Australia

Note: Section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975 makes it an offence, except in very limited circumstances, to publish or distribute a report of a case or part of a case, including information contained in a judgment, which identifies parties, related or associated persons, witnesses or others involved in the case. A breach of the section is a criminal offence. The section also sets out certain limited defences to criminal liability. An example is where the Court has expressly authorised the publication (Source www.familycourt.gov.au/)

 

Lexis Advance (2007- )

Westlaw AU (1979- )

Capital Monitor (1988- )

Family Court of Australia (recent decisions)

AustLII  (1976- )

JADE (2008- )

 

Federal Court of Australia

If you still have not located the judgment see Federal Court Judgments frequently asked questions

Lexis Advance (1977-1979, 1980-)

Westlaw AU (1983- )

Capital Monitor (1992- )

Federal Court of Australia (1977-)

AustLII (1977- )

JADE (2002- )

 

Federal Court of Australia Full Court

If you still have not located the judgment see Federal Court Judgments frequently asked questions

Lexis Advance (2002-)

Westlaw AU (2002- )

Capital Monitor (2002- )

Federal Court of Australia (2002-)

AustLII  (2002- )

JADE (2002- )

 

Federal Circuit Court

Lexis Advance (2013- )

Westlaw AU (2012- )

Capital Monitor (2013- )

Federal Circuit Court (current year)

AustLII  (2013- )

JADE (2013- )

 

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Important to note

  • Oral decisions are not published
  • Not every case has a written judgment
  • Some judgments are anonymised
  • Distribution is at the discretion of the Judge who heard the matter
  • Judgments may not be available due to legislative restrictions or suppression orders
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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).

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