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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

Find subsequent judicial consideration of a case

Use a case citator to find out how the case you are researching has been treated by subsequent courts. To undertake this task, you need to be able to find a case first. If you're unsure of how to find a case, see the pages find a case by citation or find a case by party name

It is recommended that you use each of the case citators as the results are likely to be different. This section provides information on using the case citators CaseBase, FirstPoint, Jade and LawCite. 

CaseBase (Lexis Advance) 

Search for your case in CaseBase and click on the link called 'CaseBase'. The following screenshot is of the CaseBase record for a case and highlights: 

  • The treatment indicator to the top left of the case name 
  • The 'cases referring to this case' link which provides a summary of cases that have considered the case your researching, including signals indicating the type of treatment the case has received, and followed by a list of the cases which you can sort using a range of options. 

See the LexisNexis website for information about case citator symbols. 

FirstPoint (Westlaw AU) 

Search for your case in FirstPoint and open the document called 'FirstPoint'. The following screenshot is of the FirstPoint document for a case and highlights: 

  • The flag system which provides some indication of how the case has been treated by subsequent courts (reversed, disapproved etc) 
  • Cases citing, divided by those cases that have distinguished, applied, reversed the case you are researching.  

View the Westlaw AU Case Status Symbol Guide for more information.  


Search for your case in Jade using the search bar at the top. From the results, navigate to the case you are looking for. Once you have found the case, the Jade CaseTrace box on the right of the judgment text displays information about subsequent treatment: 

You can also navigate to particular paragraphs of the judgment to find out how a particular part of the case (the paragraph) has been treated: 


Once you have found your case in LawCite, scroll down to the 'Cases Referring to this Case' section. The benefit of LawCite is that where applicable, it will list cases from Australia and other countries that have free Legal Information Institutes: