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University of Wollongong Australia

Legal Research

Law reports

There are three types of law reports:

1. Authorised law reports

  • Authorised law reports are cases that have been approved by the judge before publishing and are viewed as an accurate record of the judgment. They contain decisions of the court or tribunal.
  • Cases are often reported in more than one law report series, such as CLR and ALR; citing the authorised report is preferable, if available. Note: not all law reports are authorised.
  • Not all decisions are published. However this does not mean that unreported or unpublished decisions are not available.
  • Cases reported in an authorised series must be cited in court rather than relying on printouts from databases such as AustLII.

2. Specialist law reports

Specialist reports cover only one area of law.

Examples of specialist law reports include:

  • Australian criminal reports
  • Australian tax cases
  • intellectual property reports.

3. Unauthorised law reports

  • While not the preferred authoritative version, unauthorised reports are a legitimate record of court decisions and may be the only source to locate certain cases.
  • If a judgment is published in both an authorised and unauthorised report series, cite the authorised version.

Finding law reports

A list of Australian and International law reports is available in the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (Fourth Edition): Appendix, pp. 297-327. Authorised, official or preferred series are identified with an asterisk.

Tip: if you cannot access the full-text of an authorised version in one case citator, try another one. For example, the full-text of CLR (the most authoritative report of High Court decisions) will be available in FirstPoint.

Find authorised and unauthorised reports in our law databases:

Find authorised reports for specific courts:

Court Law Report Series Coverage
High Court Commonwealth Law Reports (CLR) 1903+
Federal Court Federal Court Reports (FCR) 1984+
Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Administrative Law decisions (ALD)

Administrative Law decisions (ALD)

1976-2006

1976+

Australian Industrial Relations Commission Industrial Reports (IR) 1980+
Supreme Court of New South Wales

New South Wales Law Reports (NSWLR)

State Reports NSW (SR NSW)

New South Wales Law Reports (LR NSW)

1971+

1901-1970

1880-1900

Supreme Court of Victoria

Victorian Reports (VR)

Victoria Law reports(VLR)

1957+

1874-1956

Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory Law Reports (ACTLR)

Australian Capital Territory Reports (ACTR)

2008+

1973-2008

Supreme Court of Queensland

Queensland Reports (QR)

Queensland Reports (QdR)

2019+

1958-2019 and other earlier Queensland law reports from 1859

Supreme Court of South Australia

South Australian State Reports (SASR)

State Reports South Australia (SASR)

South Australian Law Reports (SALR)

1971+

1921-1971

1863-1920

Supreme Court of Tasmania

Tasmanian Reports (Tas R)

Tasmanian Reports (Tas R)

State Reports Tasmania (Tas SR)

Tasmanian Law Reports (SALR)

1992+

1979-2009

1941-1978

1897-1940

Supreme Court of Western Australia

Western Australian Reports (WAR)

Western Australian Reports (WAR)

Western Australian Law Reports (WALR)

1983+

1960-2014

1898-1958

Supreme Court of Northern Territory

Northern Territory Law Reports (NTLR)

Northern Territory Law Reports (NTLR)

Northern Territory Reports (NTR)

2008+

1992-2009

1979+

 

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