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You are here: AustLII >> About AustLII >> Help >> Case Law
The case law databases contain the decisions of judges in matters before a court or tribunal. In each decision the judge will go over the facts of the case, the relevant law in the circumstances, and then discuss how the law applies to the relevant facts. The judge may also refer to relevant legislation (laws or "acts" passed by parliament), regulations or international treaties. Because of this case law is often important in understanding how particular acts of parliament operate and apply day to day.
The AustLII case law databases include hypertext links to most relevant material. These generally include the following:
Each case is preceeded by a number of "buttons" or links. The meaning of these is as follows:
Clicking on the AustLII Logo will take you back to the AustLII home page.
Takes you to the home page for the current database or "collection". You normally do this if you want to select a different case.
Lets you perform a free text search over the entire AustLII database (or parts of it).
Searches for all materials which refer to the current case. This will display all other cases which refer to this case.
[Download] or [Download RTF]
Clicking "Download" will take you to a page that will allow you to download the case in different formats. The most common formats offered are RTF (Rich Text Format) and ASCII (plain text). Save these files to disk and load into your word processor to print.
Gives you this page
When searching in Boolean Mode you can use the date operator to limit search results by date (or a date range -- see Search Help, esp Boolean Operators Chart).
For cases, the date is usually the date that the decision was handed down or added to the AustLII database if such a date is not available.
To print a case you can either use the "Print" function of your browser, or click "Download" to get the RTF version of the case, load it into your word processor, and print from there.
Cases are "marked up" on a massively automated basis. We are constantly improving this process to add functionality. If you have suggestions, these are more than welcome. Please bear in mind that the mark up process is essentially heuristic in nature - that is, it is designed to make the occassional mistake. If you think that you can suggest a general approach to better taking into account the salient features which are inherent to most case law databases, please send us feedback.