What does a CaseBase document contain?

This article describes the different sections that can appear within CaseBase documents. Any given document may contain some of these sections but not others. CaseBase documents also contain CaseBase signals. For information on the meaning of CaseBase signals, see CaseBase Signals & Annotations.

SectionDescription
Case detailsThis section displays details of the primary case such as the case name, citations, judge, court, judgment date and popular name. Subscribers to reports and/or unreported judgments can access the full text of the decision by selecting the relevant link from the case citation. Unreported judgments can be accessed via the hyperlinks on media neutral citations (where available) and BC numbers, e.g. BC9900223.
AbstractAn abstract, available for legally significant and high-profile cases handed down since July 2009, appears at the top of the CaseBase entry and draws attention to notable features of those cases.
Catchwords & DigestThe catchwords appearing in bold text identify the main areas of law dealt with and provide the legal context of the primary judgment or article. The digest component states the legal issues considered and summarises the decision of the court or the argument of the article. Where a case or article deals with more than one major issue, a different set of catchwords and digests may be used for each issue.
Words and phrasesParticular words or phrases considered in a case are listed here.
CaseBase Signals & AnnotationsFor detailed information about the meaning and calculation of CaseBase signals and annotations, see CaseBase Signals & Annotations.
Litigation History

Listed here is both the prior and subsequent litigation history of the primary case. The annotations included in this table indicate whether the primary case is an appeal against an earlier decision, whether the primary case has itself been affirmed, varied or reversed on appeal and whether any judgments that are part of the same litigation are available.

The cases appearing in the litigation history table are listed in reverse chronological order.

For a list of possible annotations in a Litigation History table, see CaseBase Signals & Annotations.

Cases referring to this case

This section of the CaseBase document lists all cases that have subsequently considered the primary judgment.

The list of cases appears in a table below the graphical filters. By default, the cases are listed by judgment date from most to least recent. You can list the cases in a different order by selecting a different sorting option from the Sort by drop-down list.

Above the list of cases you will find graphical filters you can use to narrow the list of cases. There are three available graphical filters for this table:

  • Paragraph Filter (default view)
  • Court Filter
  • Year Filter

The selected option appears with a dark background.

The filters will not appear if there is only one citing judgment. For more information about how to use these filters, see below.

Search Within

A search field appears just above the list of cases in the tables of "Cases referring to this case" and "Cases considered by this case". This is the ‘Search Within’ filter. By entering relevant terms in the search field, you can filter the case list to show only the citing or cited judgments that mention your terms. This allows you to quickly cut down the list to only judgments that are relevant to the issue you are researching. The search targets the text of documents mentioned in the table (both full text cases and CaseBase records).

After entering a search term, you will notice a ‘Narrow By:’ row appear just above the case list, with a tile displaying the term that you have entered. You can enter as many search terms as you want.

  • To narrow further by using another term, simply enter another search term in the search field.
  • To remove a search term, click on the ‘X’ in that tile.
  • To reset the case list to its default state, where all cases are listed, select the Reset link below the filter.

Search Within

Paragraph Filter

The ‘Paragraph’ filter is a graph that lists the paragraphs of the primary judgment on the horizontal (x) axis, and the number of subsequent cases citing those paragraphs on the vertical (y) axis. Each column represents the number of times a paragraph is cited by subsequent cases. When hovering the mouse over columns of the graph, a pop-up appears, providing information on the paragraph number and the number of citing cases.

Paragraph Filter

Scope

Just above the graph, in line with the filter selector, is a hyperlink labelled ‘Scope’. Clicking on this link will show a pop-up providing information on the scope of the data covered by the Paragraph Filter feature. It shows which courts and years are covered, and how frequently the data is updated in CaseBase. Clicking on he ‘Got it!’ button will close the pop-up.

Scope Statement

Using the Graph as a Filter

To limit the case list to see only cases that cite a particular paragraph, click on the column in the graph corresponding to that paragraph. Any case that does not cite that paragraph is filtered out from the list.

After selecting a paragraph, the selected column is highlighted in blue and a pop-up appears displaying the paragraph number and the number of cases that cite that paragraph. You will also see a ‘Narrow By:’ row appear just above the case list, with a tile indicating the paragraph you have selected. The tile will contain the following text: ‘Cases citing [Y]’ with Y being the paragraph selected.

  • To choose a different paragraph, click on another column in the graph.
  • To remove a chosen paragraph, click on the ‘X’ in the ‘Cases citing [Y]’ tile.
  • To reset the case list to its default state, where all cases are listed, select the Reset link below the filter.

Cases

‘Show cited paragraphs only’ Toggle

A case can be long with a lot of paragraphs, but with only have a small number of paragraphs that are heavily cited. To aid you in locating only cited paragraphs, there is a toggle appearing on the upper right-hand side of the graph labelled ‘Show only cited paragraphs’. Switching this on condenses the graph to show only paragraphs of the primary case that are subsequently cited.

Cases

Judge Names

Just above the graph, you will see the name of the judge(s) who have written an opinion in the judgment. The names appear in line with the first paragraph of their reasons. The background colour of the graph also varies slightly between a light and dark grey to indicate where the next opinion starts.

Below the graph, you will find a set of tiles with the names of judges. Hovering over a tile highlights the columns associated with the relevant opinion. Click on a tile to quickly move the graph to the start of the opinion written by that judge.

Cases

‘Show only cases that don’t cite specific paragraphs’ Toggle

A toggle appears below the graph, to the right of the ‘Search within’ field. The number appearing beside the toggle label is the number of citing cases from which we have not extracted a paragraph citation for the main judgment.

  • The toggle is ‘off’ by default when the user arrives at the Paragraph Filter.
  • Turning the toggle on narrows the Case list to show only these cases. It also displays a message in the Paragraph Filter saying ‘Show paragraph citations’.

Cases

Use with ‘Search Within’ Filter

Between the Paragraph Filter and the Cases table, you will see a search field displaying the guidance text ‘Search full text documents in this table’. This is the ‘Search Within’ field. The Paragraph Filter has been specifically designed to maximise the usefulness of the Search Within field:

  • After entering a search term, you will notice some columns in the Paragraph Filter are highlighted in green. The height of the green highlight indicates the number of cases that mention the keyword/s entered in search within AND cite the paragraph of the main case corresponding to the column.
  • Clicking on any highlighted column filters the Case Table to show only cases that cite the selected paragraph AND mention the keyword/s entered in search within.
Note: The ‘Search Within’ field searches only the cases which appear in the Cases table. It does not search the body of the cited judgment.

Cases

Court and Year Filters

The Court and Year filters are available in both the ‘Cases referring to this case’ table and the ‘Cases considered by this case’ table.

These filters narrow the list of cases by the types of treatment they have received and/or by the courts or years in which they were decided.

Graphic Filter Example

The filter is a set of rows and columns. Each row in the filter identifies one of the four possible case treatments: negative red; cautionary orange; positive green; and neutral blue. Each column identifies the court or year in which the cases were decided. To choose whether you want the columns to identify courts or years, select either Court or Year from the selector above the filter.

The selected option appears with a dark background.

Cells appear at the intersections of each treatment type row and each court or year column. A number in a cell identifies the number of cases in the corresponding court or year that have received the corresponding type of treatment.

Use the filter as follows:

  • To limit the list to only the cases with a specific treatment type, select the name of the treatment type in the filter’s left margin. All cases for that treatment type remain in or are restored to the list, and all cases with different treatment types are filtered out of the list.
  • To limit the list to only the cases associated with a specific treatment type and court or year, select the cell where the desired treatment type row intersects the desired court or year column. Those cases remain in or are restored to the list, and all other cases are filtered out of the list.
  • To reset the list to its default state, where all cases are listed, select the Reset link below the filter.
Publications referring to this casePublication articles considering the primary case are listed under this heading. Selecting on the CaseBase signal appearing after the citation of an article will take you to the CaseBase entry for that article. Publication subscribers can access the full text of an article (where available) by selecting its citation.
Cases considered by this case

This section of the CaseBase document lists all cases that were referred to or considered by the primary case.

The list of cases appears in a table below the graphical filters. By default, the cases are listed by judgment date from most to least recent. You can list the cases in a different order by selecting a different sorting option from the Sort by drop-down list.

You can filter the case list by using one of two graphical filters available for this table:

  • Court Filter
  • Year Filter

The filters will not appear if there is only one citing judgment. For more information about how to use these filters, see above.

Legislation considered by this caseListed here are the legislative provisions referred to in the primary judgment. Links in this table will take the user to the full text of the legislation if they have a subscription to LawNow Plus (for Australia) or New Zealand Statutes & Regulations (for NZ).

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