FirstPoint is a legal research tool which aims to help you find information about Australian case law. Functioning mainly as a comprehensive digest of case law, providing reliable summaries and citation information, FirstPoint also links to High Court transcripts where available.
FirstPoint is available onsite and offsite to all academic members of IALS Library. After signing in with your IALS Library credentials, click on ‘Sign in by IP access’ from the landing page.
FirstPoint comprises valuable Australian case research from a variety of sources including: digests of cases published in the Australian Digest 2nd ed, the Supplements to the Australian Digest 2nd ed, the Australian Digest 3rd ed, the Supplements to the Australian Digest 3rd ed, the Australian Legal Monthly Digest and ALMD Advance (Thomson Reuters Digest Publications); digests of reported and unreported judgments from selected courts and tribunals around Australia which are not published in Thomson Reuters Digest Publications; and entries from the Australian Case Citator and other Thomson Reuters sources.
With FirstPoint you can browse the hierarchical structure of cases using the Australian Digest classification scheme; and view relevant case details such as judges, date of judgment, digest notes for some cases, catchwords, litigation history, cases considered, cases citing, legislation judicially considered and words and phrases judicially considered.
The basic search is a single text box, which does however accept the use of terms and connectors, further information regarding which can be found in the help files. The more advanced FirstPoint search allows searching by various fields including:
- Case Name: This field searches the title and full list of party names in the case.
- Citation: Use this field to search for a case by year, volume, series and page number e.g. 175 CLR 1.
- Year: This field narrows the search down to cases heard in a particular year or range of years.
- Jurisdiction: Use this field to search by State or Territory e.g. New South Wales.
- Court: Use this field to search by court e.g. Supreme Court of Victoria.
- Judge Surname: Use this field to limit a search to cases heard by a particular judge/s.
- Legislation Judicially Considered: Use this field to find cases that judicially consider a section of an Act.
- Words & Phrases Judicially Considered: Use this field to find cases that judicially consider key words and phrases that arise in case law and legislation.
- Case Digest: This field searches the case summaries.
- Classification: This field searches for content by legal classification. For example, you can search for cases about penalties for environmental offences by typing “penalties” into the search box and specifying that the search be confined to the “Environment and planning” classification.
- Case Updates: This field allows you to narrow your search down to cases which were recently added to FirstPoint.
Printing, downloading and emailing
Results, digests and documents can be downloaded in either PDF or word format for printing or emailing. Bright green icons will be at the top left of each section.
Help pages on topics such as accessing content, searching, browsing and downloading material can be accessed from the Help button/lightbulb icontys at the top right of the search screen.