Researching with CaseBase
Become acquainted with your new best friend in case law
What is CaseBase? What does it do?
CaseBase describes the most important features of a case. In one page, it provides:
- An indication as to the current validity of a case (is it still good law?)
- Links to other relevant material, such as other cases, journals, and legislation
- A short, concise summary of the case
- A complete list of citations for the case, including direct links to the full text of the case on LexisNexis AU.
What do all the pretty signals mean?
One of the key functions of CaseBase is to provide a summary of how subsequent cases have treated a particular case.
Let's imagine we have the CaseBase entry for the case X v Y (1) (X v Y is called the "primary case").
- CaseBase will list every case that both parties used as evidence in the "Cases considered by this case" table
- It will also list every other case that has subsequently considered the case, including the treatment it gave it, in the "Cases referring to this case" table
- Finally, it will summarise all of the treatment the case has received, by means of a signal. In this instance, because the judge in the case Q v R overruled the case X v Y on at least one point of law, the whole case receives the red signal to indicate negative treatment.
- This signal indicates that this case should not be used in certain instances. To gain further information you need to read the Q v R case.
One of the features of CaseBase is to list all cases that have subsequently considered the main case ("primary case"). It also lists all cases that were considered by the primary case.
In each of these instances, the cases are listed in tables. The left hand column (Applied, Followed, etc.) states how that case relates to the primary case. The right hand column (containing the signals) is a property of the case on that row, and has nothing to do with the primary case.
In the below table, we can see that Politarhis v Westpac Banking Corp applied principles from the primary case. Politarhis v Westpac Banking Corp itself has received positive treatment, as indicated by the positive signal. This positive signal will be written next to Politarhis v Westpac Banking Corp throughout LexisNexis AU, regardless of what CaseBase entry it appears in.
Using CaseBase to find related material
Many of the sections in a CaseBase entry can be used as starting points to find related cases, journals, and important legislation.
||You might use this to...
|Cases referring to this case
||Use this to find other, more recent cases that have considered an issue.
|Journal articles referring to this case
||CaseBase will provide you with a list of relevant journals discussing this case.
|Legislation considered by this case
||CaseBase is able to help you find key provisions dealing with an issue.
Linking from CaseBase to full-text judgments
CaseBase provides you with a list of all citations for a case. The citations are listed from left to right in order of priority. Where a citation is for a LexisNexis AU product, a link is provided for that citation.
In the image above, we have a link to the full text of the case in the Australian Law Reports, and two links that will take you to the Unreported Judgment version of this case.
Linking to CaseBase from other LexisNexis AU products
All CaseBase signals on LexisNexis AU are in fact links to CaseBase entries. These signals are found in the footnotes of many of our commentary works, and they are also found at the top of each full text judgment.
The CaseBase links at the top of each full text judgment are really useful for quickly jumping over to the CaseBase version of a case, to see if it is still good law, or even to see a summary of the case.
Another way to go directly to the CaseBase version of a case, from the full text, is to click on the "View citator link" document.
How do I search for a CaseBase entry on LexisNexis AU?
If you have the name or citation of a case, you can type that into the Quick Find box called 'Case by name or
citation'. When searching for a case by it's name remember to use 'and' rather than 'v'.
For more detailed searching, use the Cases search form. This can be accessed by clicking on the word 'Cases' on the beige toolbar towards the top of the screen. For more information on using this search form, consult this Quick Help Guide: Finding Cases.