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10 FAQs from 1st year law students

1. Why can’t I just Google this?

Information found on Google is not necessarily from an authoritative source, may be out of date and may contain inaccuracies.

2. How do I find a case when I have one or both of the party’s names?

Use a citator such as CaseBase or search in Westlaw Australia

3. How do I find a case when I have a citation?/ Where do I find a list of citation abbreviations?

Use a citator such as CaseBase. Access either the CaseBase Case Citator Abbreviations or the Westlaw Australia Table of Abbreviations.

4. How do I find out where a case has been reported and how it has been treated subsequently?

Use a citator such as CaseBase or search in Westlaw Australia

5. How do I find cases which deal with a particular subject?

Do a free text search in either CaseBase, or Westlaw Australia. Alternatively, refer to footnotes in a legal encyclopaedia such as Halsbury's Laws of Australia or Laws of Australia 

6. How do I find cases which refer to a particular section of an Act?

Use a citator such as CaseBase or search in Westlaw Australia for the Act and look at associated cases

7. How do I get background information on a particular subject?

Use a legal encyclopaedia such as Halsbury's Laws of Australia, Laws of Australia or read commentary on that topic  

8. How do I find legislation? How do I establish whether it is current?

Use Lawlex Premium, Federal Register of Legislation or SA Legislation to find Australian legislation and make sure you check the currency of the latest version.

9. How do I find journal articles?

Use an index such as the Australian Legal Journals Index for Australian articles or the Index to Legal Periodicals Full Text for international articles.

10. How do I reference this?

Use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th ed) 

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