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Unreported Judgments in Victoria

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 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.

Locating Unreported Judgments

Court Subscription Resources Free Resources If you haven't found what you're looking for...
Supreme Court of Victoria

Lexis Advance (1968- )

Westlaw AU (1999- )

Capital Monitor

(1997- )

Law Library of Victoria Catalogue (1950- )

AustLII (1994- )

JADE (1998-)

Contact the Law Library of Victoria for assistance via llv@courts.vic.gov.au. If the judgment still cannot be located the next step may be the request of records from the following locations:

Civil Pre 1989

  • Company, Civil Matters and Probate records. Contact Public Record Office Victoria (PROV). Open access. Request via PROV.
  • Civil Miscellaneous (includes custody, maintenance and public trustee matters), Family, Divorce. There are privacy restrictions on records less than 75 years old and 99 years for children. Contact the Supreme Court Registry.     

Civil 1990 to Current 

Criminal Pre 1989

  • Contact the Supreme Court Registry. There are privacy restrictions on records less than 75 years old, i.e. only those pre-1940 are available.    

Criminal 1990 to 2000 

  • Public Record Office Victoria (PROV). Closed files. Permission must be requested. Contact PROV.
  • Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP). Closed files. Permission must be requested. Contact the OPP
  • 2000 to Current. Closed files. Permission must be requested. Contact the Supreme Court Registry.

Please note for some services a fee may occur.

Supreme Court of Appeal

Lexis Advance (1980- )

Westlaw AU (1998- )

Capital Monitor (1998- )

Law Library of Victoria Catalogue (1998- )

AustLII (1998-)

JADE  (1998- )

Contact the Law Library of Victoria for assistance via llv@courts.vic.gov.au. If the judgment still cannot be located the next step may be the request of records from the following locations:

Civil Pre 1989

  • Company, Civil Matters and Probate records. Contact Public Record Office Victoria (PROV). Open access. Request via PROV.
  • Civil Miscellaneous (includes custody, maintenance and public trustee matters), Family, Divorce. There are privacy restrictions on records less than 75 years old and 99 years for children. Contact the Supreme Court Registry.     

Civil 1990 to Current 

Criminal Pre 1989

  • Contact the Supreme Court Registry. There are privacy restrictions on records less than 75 years old, i.e. only those pre-1940 are available.    

Criminal 1990 to 2000 

  • Public Record Office Victoria (PROV). Closed files. Permission must be requested. Contact PROV.
  • Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP). Closed files. Permission must be requested. Contact the OPP
  • 2000 to Current. Closed files. Permission must be requested. Contact the Supreme Court Registry.

Please note for some services a fee may occur.

County Court of Victoria Lexis Advance has a small selection of County Court decisions

AustLII (selected decisions only, 1993- )

JADE (2003- )

For decisions from 1988 to current, contact the County Court Publications Manager via information.services@countycourt.vic.gov.au

In the email state the name of the person requesting decision and a brief description why the decision is required (e.g. barrister from XXXXX firm has another case on similar point of law).

Not all decisions from the County Court are available on request.

Distribution is at the discretion of the Judge who heard the matter.

Additional information can viewed via www.countycourt.vic.gov.au/case-information

Magistrates' Court of Victoria There are currently no subscription databases which contain Magistrates' Court decisions

AustLII (2006- )

JADE (2006 - )

The Magistrates’ Court has a small hard copy collection 1992 - 2013. 

Email the Law Library of Victoria via llv@courts.vic.gov.au to arrange a search of this collection. 

Not every case heard in the Magistrates’ Court has a judgment written, and transcripts may be the only option. Additional information can be viewed via www.mcv.vic.gov.au/going-court/document-and-recordings

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

Lexis Advance (2002- )

Westlaw AU (1998- )

Capital Monitor (2007- )

VCAT (contains a selection of high profile decisions only, 2012- )

AustLII  (1998- )

JADE (contains a limited coverage prior to 2009, 2014- )

For decisions from 1 July 1998 to present day, use the ‘Contact us’ page of the VCAT website to arrange a search of the Register. Fees apply.

Oral decisions are not published. Decisions that are subject to an anonymisation order or where publication is prevented by a legislative requirement are published in a de-identified manner. 

Unreported decisions require permission for release from the Heads of Division.

 

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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, Magistrate or Member 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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