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Australian & Comparative Constitutional Law: Finding cases on the Constitution

This guide will help with your research in Australian, Global and Comparative Constitutional Law.

Finding cases by topic

If you are looking for cases on the topic of constitutional law, and not for a particular citation, try the following:

[please note: in reality you would probably be searching for a narrower concept than ‘constitutional law’, but the following are used as examples to show you which sources to use]            

FirstPoint Cases

  • Click on Cases
  • then Product Title
  • then FirstPoint
  • then Classification
  • then Australia - A-C
  • then Constitutional law (you can click on the ticked box to open up subheadings to browse if you want)
  • These are arranged by year, with the most recent first.

Lexis NexisAu Cases

  • In the Jurisdiction box, tick Commonwealth
  • In the Court box, tick High Court and Federal Court.
  • In the catchwords/summary box, type “constitutional law”
  • Click the search box
  • The results (there will be a lot) will be listed chronologically, the most recent first.
  • Narrow the results further using the menu on the left hand side by eg: selecting  topics and then selecting constitutional law; or selecting a particular court.
  • The results can be further refined by adding terms in the Narrow Search box on the top right hand of the results screen.

Law Reports of the Commonwealth

  • In print only (4th floor) UniMelb Law REP 1993+

Finding cases which discuss a particular section of the Constitution

FirstPoint Cases (Westlaw AU)

Type eg: constitution 109 in the Legislation Cited (Title & Provision) field

Timebase – cases

  • Commonwealth – Case Link Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act (The Constitution) (Case Link)

Lexis NexisAu Cases

  • In the Jurisdiction box, tick Commonwealth
  • In the Court box, tick High Court and Federal Court.
  • In the catchwords/summary box, type “constitutional law”
  • In the Legislation Judicially Considered box type eg: constitution w/5 109
  • Click the search box

Constitutional cases in specific courts

High Court of Australia (constitutional cases are heard in the High Court in its original jurisdiction)

Federal Court