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Introduction to Legal Research

This guide is an introduction to legal research at the University of Melbourne. This guide is intended for law students in the JD, MLM , Breadth programs who are new to legal research. Students in other disciplines who may need to conduct legal research


Finding Judicial Consideration of Legislation

There are a number of ways to find judicial consideration of legislation. You can use a legislation database such as TimeBase or citators such as CaseBase (Lexis Advance Pacific) and FirstPoint (Weslaw AU), and free citators such as JADE and LawCite (AustLII). 

This module demonstrates how to use each of these platforms. You can access these platforms from the sections in this module or the Law Library website Research Databases by Type page. It is strongly recommended that you use more than one database when you are doing this type of research task, as the databases will provide different results.  

Use each database listed in this section to search for cases considering section 48 of the Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic). A search of each of the databases for cases considering this section of the Wrongs Act reveals different results and one has significantly fewer. Once you've searched each database for cases considering section 48 of the Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic), try our quiz to test your knowledge. 


Go to TimeBase and find the legislation and section that you are looking for cases on.  If TimeBase has indexed cases that have interpreted that section, the 'Cases' link will appear:

Alternatively, find an Act and click on 'Key Info' and select Cases for all cases that have interpreted the Act. 

Note: TimeBase does not have a comprehensive case law collection. It is recommended to also search in the case citators listed below.

CaseBase (Lexis Advance) 

On CaseBase, use the 'Legislation Title' / 'Provision Number' field to find cases on a piece of legislation and section:


FirstPoint (Westlaw AU)

On FirstPoint, use the Legislation Cited (Title) and Legislation Cited (Provision) fields to find judicial consideration of legislation: 


Go to the JADE Citator, type in the name of the Act and section into the ‘Citations of’ field. Suggestions will appear - select the relevant one and then click search: 


LawCite is a free case citator and connects to AustLII and other jurisdictions that have similar free legal research platforms. Enter the legislation and section you are looking for cases on and click search: