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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 courts.

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 Categories >> Courts & Case-Law page.

  1. Task: Search for cases concerning any of the following topics that interest you:
  2. Search for cases on your two subjects of interest.

6.2. Finding case law from individual jurisdictions

From the Categories >> Courts & Case-Law page, browse to the relevant jurisdictions, and then to the web sites to find the following cases:

  1. 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:
  2. Task: Find the United Kingdom House of Lords decisions concerning General Pinochet. How do you find recent House of Lords decisions concerning immigration?
  3. 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).
  4. 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).

  1. Task: Find commentary on two of the following cases that interest you:
  2. What is a leading international case in each of your subjects? Try to find commentary on each of those cases.

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