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Researching Case Law

CaseBase Cases

CaseBase is an online case citator, accessed via the Lexis Advance platform. 

CaseBase lists mostly Australian cases, however overseas cases are also included if they are relevant to Australian law.

Accessing CaseBase Cases

Use the Library's A-Z Databases page to open Lexis Advance. Then click on 'CaseBase Cases' and select 'Advanced Search'.

casebase advanced search

Searching CaseBase Cases

You can search CaseBase in a variety of ways, depending on what information you have.

Search by Keyword (e.g. "right to silence")

Search by Citation (e.g. 1994 1 VR 337)

Search by Case name (e.g. Abbott v Smith)



A CaseBase record

As well as a list of citations for the case, you are also given information about how the case has been treated, and whether it has been discussed in journal articles (Publications referring to this case).

CaseBase symbols

The CaseBase signals are based on case annotations prepared by the CaseBase editors. They are derived from both the procedural history of a case and the subsequent judicial consideration of a case. The signals are listed in the table below in order of precedence.

Signal Summary Explanation
Negative treatment Warning – Negative treatment indicated. A negative (red) signal is given to decisions which have been subsequently reversed, not followed, disapproved or overruled.
Cautionary treatment Caution – Questioning or distinguishing treatment indicated. A cautionary (yellow) signal is given to decisions which have been subsequently distinguished, explained, questioned or varied.
Positive treatment Positive treatment indicated. A positive (green) signal is given to decisions which have been subsequently applied, approved, followed or affirmed.
Neutral treatment Neutral or citing treatment indicated. A neutral signal is given to decisions which been either considered or cited (also 'referred to' or 'discussed').
Citation information Link to CaseBase entry. A citation information signal is given to decisions for which there is only citation information available.