A case citator is a legal research tool for finding cases by:
Citators allow you to track the history of a case and its subsequent treatment by the courts, using signals or flags to indicate whether the case has received positive, negative, cautionary or neutral treatement in subsequent judgments.
Citators also enable researches to identify secondary materials which discuss a case as well as legislation judicially considered.
If you have ever looked up a case in a database (such as Lexis Advance or WestlawAU) you have already seen a case citator - it is often the 'landing page' for the case.
Case Citators will help you find:
The case citator search template allows you to search in a number of different fields both individually or in combination:
|Field to search||Example search|
|1||Terms or free text||Keyword searches across all citator fields||director /p "duty of care"|
|2||Catchwords||subject heading, topic or classification||separation of powers|
|3||Legislation||legislation title and provision||Building Act 1975|
|4||Words & phrases||word or phrase judicially considered||"minority shareholder"|
FirstPoint is the case citator tool in WestlawAU. It has an extensive collection of authorised reports including the Commonwealth Law Reports.
In addition to the search template (below) you can also browse or search the Australian Digest classification or use the links to find similar and related cases.
FirstPoint search results also show parallel citations, flags and classifications:
Citators will usually provide all the parallel citations for a case, so you can see which you should cite in your references.
The below example from CaseBase (Lexis Advance's citator) shows the parallel citations for cases in order of hierarchy from authorised (if available) to reported to unreported:
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