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Secondary Sources in Law : Finding Case Notes Relating to a Case

This guide contains resources and guidance to help students find secondary legal materials.

Finding case notes relating to a case


Case notes are an important genre of legal writing. The aim of a case note is to give the reader:

  • a structured overview of a case and its the most important points,
  • a thorough and objective assessment of what the judgment stands for,
  • a critical analysis of legal rules derived from the decisions,
  • the facts and the context in which those legal rules were derived, and
  • the legal reasoning used by the judge or judges to resolve the legal issue at hand.

In summary, case notes can help you to contextualise and gain a broader understanding of a case with regard to existing law.

Note that Case Notes are also sometimes called Case Briefs - particularly in the United States.

How to search for case notes?


Case notes can be found in most databases but the range of content can vary greatly so it's a good idea to search multiple databases.

  • Search for the case citation, in quotation marks, the Boolean operator AND, and the search term case note, also in quotation marks.

For example: "164 CLR 387" AND "case note".

  • Alternatively, you could use the popular case name or the name of the most relevant party.

For example: "Waltons stores" AND "case note".

You can apply these search strategies to look for case notes in the following databases (hover your mouse pointer over the 'i' symbol next to the database name for additional tips):