6. Researching case law
The section aims to help
you find case law from the courts of many countries. Research on the case law of
international courts is covered in the next section.
The Categories >>
Courts & Case-Law page allows case law from
many jurisdictions to be browsed (and searched from their own search engines).
As yet, case law from relatively few jurisdictions has been made searchable in
World Law, but this is being expanded. You should find some cases from the UK,
Hong Kong, Canada, Philippines, South Africa, the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights, the International Court of Justice, and other international
It is therefore usually necessary to go to the original sites search for most
case law. However, searching over all case law available in World Law is still
a good place to start research before moving on to individual jurisdictions.
6.1. Searching for case law from many jurisdictions
Start from the
Courts & Case-Law page.
- Task: Search for cases concerning any of the following topics that
- subrogation in insurance law
- Search for cases on your two subjects of interest.
6.2. Finding case law from individual jurisdictions
Courts & Case-Law page, browse to the
relevant jurisdictions, and then to the web sites to find the following
- For each of these jurisdictions, go to the page for Courts and Case Law for
that jurisdiction, and from the range of case law available, go to each of these
leading web sites providing access to case law:
- Canada - Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)
- United Kingdom / Ireland- British and Irish Legal Information Institute
- United States - lexisONE
- Australia - Australasian Legal Information Institute
- Task: Find the United Kingdom House of Lords decisions
concerning General Pinochet. How do you find recent House of Lords decisions
- Find the South African Constitutional Court's decisions concerning
the death penalty. (You could use the Constitutional Court's own search engine,
or World Law's Search facility for an individual site).
- Go to each of your two countries to see if there are sites providing case
law. If there are, try to find cases on your two subjects.
6.3. Finding commentary on cases
To find commentary on
cases, search for one of more significant words or phrases in the name of the
decision. If more than one word or phrase is used, they should be joined by a
connector such as w/10 (meaning within 10 words).
- Task: Find commentary on two of the following cases that interest
- Find commentary on the decision of the House of Lords in Prince Jefri
Bolkiah v KPMG (it is about banking confidentiality).
- Find commentary about the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal decision
concerning 'right of abode' in Hong Kong (Chan Kam Nga and the Director Of
- Find commentary on the decision Mabo v Queensland [No 2] (1992) 175
CLR 1 (it is about aboriginal customary title to land in Australia). From the
Search Results page, click on the words 'WorldLII databases' where it says
'Repeat search over WorldLII Databases' in order to find related materials from
all legal information institutes.
- What is a leading international case in each of your subjects? Try to find
commentary on each of those cases.