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Basic Legal Research Skills Course Outline Getting started Part A- Introduction to Legal Research Skills Part B- Finding a reported case from a citation.

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Presentation on theme: "Basic Legal Research Skills Course Outline Getting started Part A- Introduction to Legal Research Skills Part B- Finding a reported case from a citation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Basic Legal Research Skills Course Outline Getting started Part A- Introduction to Legal Research Skills Part B- Finding a reported case from a citation Part C- Finding an unreported case from a citation 1Basic Legal Research Skills- Course Outline

2 Course Outline Basic Legal Research Skills- Course Outline2 This course aims to provide users the skills to locate legal cases. Aimed at students from other discipline areas without previous legal research skills, the course could also be a refresher for law students in locating cases. The course consists of information slides, practical examples and practice questions. Feedback and queries can be sent to:

3 Getting Started Basic Legal Research Skills- Getting Started3 To access the some of the databases you will need to be a University of Queensland student, with your UQ username and password required for login. The course can be completed online or downloaded for study at your own pace. It will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. Part A- approximately 30 minutes Part B- approximately 30 minutes Part C- approximately 30 minutes

4 Part A- Introduction to Legal Research Skills Basic Legal Research Skills- Part A4 Legal research focuses on specific resources, such as cases and legislation. To locate these resources, there a number of specific tools such as case citators, law specific databases and websites used. These resources can be accessed from the Law Librarys Legal Research Guide, available from the Law Library Homepage. Legal Research Guide

5 Part A- Introduction to Legal Research Skills Basic Legal Research Skills- Part A5 The process for legal research is: Secondary Resources Textbooks Dictionaries Encyclopaedias Abbreviations Case Citators Journal Articles Primary Resources Case Law- Australia Case Law- International Legislation

6 Part A- Legal Abbreviations Basic Legal Research Skills- Part A6 Law reports, courts and journals are often abbreviated when used in citations To determine which law report, court or journal is cited you must decipher the abbreviation Deciphering tools available via the Legal Research Guide.Legal Research Guide. Once you have determined the full title of the law report or journal, search the Library's catalogue to verify if the Library holds itcatalogue

7 Part A- Legal Abbreviations Example Basic Legal Research Skills- Part A7 Citation: Sir Hon Michael Kirby, Of advocates, drunks and other players: Plain tales from Australia, (2011) 19 TLJ 89 Abbreviation: TLJ What is TLJ an abbreviation for?

8 Part A- Legal Abbreviations Example Basic Legal Research Skills- Part A8 Abbreviation- TLJ Legal Research Guide AbbreviationsCasebase Answer Torts Law Journal

9 Part A- Practice Questions Basic Legal Research Skills- Part A9 Please find the legal abbreviations for the following: ALJR Australian Law Journal Reports Crim LJ Criminal Law Journal FLR Federal Law Reports HCA High Court of Australia NSWDC New South Wales District Court

10 Part B- Finding a reported case from a Citation Basic Legal Research Skills- Part B10 Introduction to Case Law: Legal cases are categorised as: Reported cases Cases that raise significant points of law, such as introducing a new principle of law, significantly modify an existing principle of law or settle a doubtful question of law, apply an established principle in a new area, define or interpret language used in legislation. Only a small proportion of cases are ever reported. Unreported cases Cases without judgements are unreported. Jury trials do not have judgements, their verdicts are not reported at all.

11 Part B: Finding a reported case from a citation Basic Legal Research Skills- Part B11 Criminal cases Criminal law is the area of law that relates to crime. This is usually represented in a case citation by the use of R which represents the Queen or the Crown. eg R v Stubbs (2009) 228 FLR 221 This is read as The Queen against Stubbs Civil Cases Civil law is the area of law that is the branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals or organisations, in which compensation my be awarded to the victim. Huang V Jupiters Ltd [2008] 1 Qd R 276 This is read as Huang and Jupiters Limited.

12 Part B- Reported Cases Basic Legal Research Skills- Part B12 A reported case will be reported in one or more law report. Federal and High Court decisions will be covered in several reports, eg Commonwealth Law Report (CLR) and Australian Law Reports (ALR). Each state has its own law report series covering Supreme Court judgements eg Queensland Report. Law reports also exist for certain areas of law being referred to as specialist reports eg Family Law Reports, Australian Industrial Law Reports.

13 Part B- Examples of Reported Case Citations Basic Legal Research Skills- Part B13 R v Stubbs (2009) 228 FLR 221 This is a criminal case. (The Queen against Stubbs ) R v Stubbs = party name 2009 = year 228 = volume FLR = abbreviated law report title 221 = page number the case begins This case can be located using two different methods: Locating the case in the Law Report Using a case citator (accessed from the Legal Research Guide)

14 Part B- Locating the case in a law report Basic Legal Research Skills- Part B14 Abbreviation- FLR Legal Research Guide AbbreviationsCasebase Answer: Federal Law Reports Conduct a title search in the library catalogue Select link to electronic copy Select correct volume and page number Locate the case

15 Part B- Locating the case using a case citator Basic Legal Research Skills- Part B15 Legal Research GuideCase Citators Casebase (for Australian Cases) Enter party names into case/article name (R and Stubbs) Check the citation (2009) 228 FLR 221 Click on the correct case NB: The results page will give some information on the case To access the case click on the hyperlink eg [2009] ACTSC 63

16 Part B- Example of Reported Case Citations Basic Legal Research Skills- Part B16 Huang v Jupiters Ltd [2008] 1 Qd R 276 This is a civil case, Huang and Jupiters Ltd Huang and Jupiters Ltd = party name 2008 = year 1 = number for year Qd R = abbreviated law report title 276 = page number the case begins NB The square brackets have particular meaning. The brackets signifies the law report is organised by year rather than volume.

17 Part B- Locating the case in a law report Basic Legal Research Skills- Part B17 Abbreviation- Qd R Legal Research Guide AbbreviationsCasebase Answer: Queensland Reports Conduct a title search in the library catalogue Select link to electronic copy Select correct year and number Locate the case

18 Part B- Practice Questions Basic Legal Research Skills- Part B18 Locate the case for the following citations in the law report: using the library catalogue: Sony Music Productions Pty Ltd v Tansing (1993) 27 IPR 640 IPR = Intellectual Property Reports Locate the case for the following citations in the law report: using a case citator: Commonwealth v Tasmania (Tasmanian Dam Case) (1983) 158 CLR 1 CLR = Commonwealth Law Reports

19 Part C- Finding an unreported case from a citation Basic Legal Research Skills- Part C19 Unreported judgements are decisions of the courts that have not been published in a law report. Most judgements are unreported. Unreported judgements use a medium neutral citation. These judgements and cases can be located from specific databases, such as Austlii (freely available on the web), Lexis Nexis AU, As jury trials do not have judgements, their verdicts are not reported.

20 Part C- Example of a Medium Neutral Citation Basic Legal Research Skills- Part C20 Commissioner of Taxation v Anstis [2010] HCA 40 Commissioner of Taxation v Anstis = party name 2010 = year HCA = court (full title High Court of Australia) 40 = judgement number This type of citation, while identifying the case uniquely, does not tell you where to locate it. These cases can be located using the Austlii database.Austlii

21 Part C- Locating an unreported case using Austlii Basic Legal Research Skills- Part C21 Find the full name of the court from the abbreviated title Select the database tab from the library homepage Conduct a search for Austlii via the specific database option Select Jurisdiction Commonwealth Select High Court of Australia Select Year 2010 (Search options are case name or year) Scroll down to locate the case (results are sorted in month of case) Case is located in November.

22 Part C- Example of unreported case Basic Legal Research Skills- Part C22 International Skin Care Suppliers Pty Ltd v Whyte [2011] NSWSC 46 International Skin Care Suppliers Pty Ltd v Whyte = party name 2011= year NSWSC = court (full title New South Wales Supreme Court) 46 = judgement number Locating the case using Austlii

23 Part C- Locating an unreported case using Austlii Basic Legal Research Skills- Part C23 Find the full name of the court from the abbreviated title Select the database tab from the library homepage Conduct a search for Austlii via the specific database option Select Jurisdiction New South Wales Select Supreme Court Select Year 2011 (Search options are case name or year) Scroll down to locate the case (results are sorted in month of case) Case is located in February

24 Part C- Practice Questions Basic Legal Research Skills- Part C24 Find the following cases using the Austlii database, listing the court and month of the case as your answers. Lithgow City Council v Jackson [2011] HCA 36 High Court of Australia September Waddell v Widley [2009] QDC 166 Queensland District Court June Driveforce Pty Ltd v Gunns Limited [2008] TASSC 46 Supreme Court of Tasmania August

25 Part C- Practice Questions Basic Legal Research Skills- Part C25 Tabet v Gett [2010] HCA 12 High Court of Australia April Ferrus v Qantas Airways Limited [2006] FCA 812 Federal Court of Australia June


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