First Principles of Business Law

Sources of law: case law
9. Collections of law reports

9.1. How particular collections of reports are found





The Australian Law Reports and Victorian Reports

The written record of a court's decision is referred to as a 'report' of the case. Reports make it possible to find out how previous cases were decided and to use those cases as precedents when appropriate. The vast number of individual law reports are published in different collections or 'series'.

In early times, reports were published under the name of the reporters who wrote them, for example, Meeson and Welsby (M&W). These reports are referred to as 'nominate reports'.

These days, each law reports series has its own name and its own abbreviated reference, usually consisting of the initial letters of the series name. For example, the New South Wales Law Reports are abbreviated to 'NSWLR'. The Victorian Reports are referred to as 'VR'.

Lists of the abbreviated references to law reports series are useful. Click here to see a table of selected law reports series. As you read more cases, you will learn to recognise the more commonly used abbreviations.











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