Library Subject Guides

Law: Cases

Finding case law

When you are referred to a case, you will usually be given the citation. This is the formal method of referring to a reported case and will follow a citation convention. The citation includes the names of the parties before the court, the date and often a report series and page number.

To find a cited case, try the following four step process:

  1. Examine the citation to identify the abbreviation of the law report series
  2. Determine the full title of the law report series using the Cardiff index to legal abbreviations
  3. Search for the full title of the law report series using a "title begins with" search in the Library Catalogue
  4. Locate the law report online or on the shelf in the Central Library.

Finding New Zealand Cases

If you have the case citation, follow the process above.

Three main databases provide access to many New Zealand cases after mid 1980s, including both reported and unreported cases.

You can search by case name, subject, court and judge.

 

Some of the major New Zealand law report series are:

 

Some cases are freely available online. There are a number of online projects to digitise reported and unreported judgments including: 

Finding cases from other jurisdictions

If you have the case citation, follow the process above.

If you do not have a citation, some of the main case databases for other jurisdictions are:

 

For further help, use the "Jurisdictions" tab above.

Case Citators

Citators will help you find out whether a case has been reported, find alternative citations for a case, as well as trace the previous and subsequent history of a case.

Help

If you cannot find what you need, please contact the Law Subject Librarians – Theresa Buller, John Arnold and Kim Allan. 

You can: