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Legal Research Skills

What are case citators?

Case citators index case law and allow you to:

  • track the litigation history of a case
  • determine if a case is still good law
  • find other cases citing a case (judicial consideration or noting up)
  • find secondary material citing a case
  • find cases on a topic (by keyword searching)

Remember that case citators do not include full-text case law (although they may provide a link to the full-text). This means that topic searches will be more focused and relevant, as you are only searching a summary of the cases.

Each database indexes different cases, so make sure you search more than one for a comprehensive search.

The table below outlines the features of each of the databases recommended on this page.

Tip: To locate a specific case, always search by case citation (if you know it), rather than party names, as citations are unique

Case citator features
Product Track litigation history Determine if a case is still good law Find subsequent judicial consideration (note up) Find secondary material citing a case Find cases on a topic
CaseBase Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Westlaw AU Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
LawCite No No Yes Yes No
Jade Yes No Yes No Yes


Key databases with case citator functions

Subscription databases

Free databases

CaseBase (Lexis+)

  1. Type the case citation into the citation field and click Search to view the CaseBase entry
  2. Hover over the signal to the left of the party names to check whether a decision is still good law
  3. Click CaseBase Signal Help on the right-hand side for an explanation of the signals and annotations
  4. Click the tabs at the top of the page to view the Litigation history, Cases referring to this case, Publications referring to this case.

Westlaw AU

  1. Type the case citation into the main search box
  2. View the Flag next to the title of the case to check whether the case is still good law
  3. Click the tabs for more information and to note-up the case:
    • Negative treatment: Indicates whether the case has been distinguished or overturned
    • History: Direct litigation history of the case
    • Citing References: Cases and secondary sources that have cited the case

LawCite (AustLII)

  1. Search for the case by citation or party names
  2. View a list of cases and journal articles referring to the case

LawCite case record


  1. Type the case citation into the main search box and select the case from the suggested list
  2. Click Jade Citator on the right-hand side
  3. Jade Citator will show you where the original decision was cited to the paragraph level

Jade results page showing citations

To find other decisions that have cited a specific paragraph of the original decision:

  1. Type the case citation in the main search box
  2. Scroll to the relevant paragraph in the judgment
  3. If other decisions have specifically cited that paragraph there will be a green paperclip icon on the right hand side of the paragraph
  4. Click the paperclip to expand and view the subsequent citing decisions

Jade citations in text of judgment