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Case Law

Locating and Noting Up Cases

Locating a case

To locate a case is to find the full text. You can find a case 

  • when the case name is known
  • when the case citation is available
  • related to particular facts

Make use of electronic databases, law report indexes or case citators to do so. 

Noting up a case

To note up cases means to verify whether a particular case is still relevant. Check the case to see if it has been reversed on appeal, considered, followed, applied, crticized or overruled by subsequent cases. 

Different databases provide different functions for noting up cases. Case citators in print format can also be used for such purpose. 

Our Library has a collection of law reports in print format. They are located in the Law Primary Source area.

Some law reports are only available as print volumes. In those situation, you must use the print law reports. And the case citator tools which are shelved side by side with the print volumes are useful for tracing how cases have been cited and applied. To learn how to use the print law reports and the case citators, check the following library guides:

Students' Guide to Legal Materials of Hong Kong (Section 1.4 Case Law)

Students' Guide to Legal Materials of the United Kingdom (Section 1.2 U.K. Law Reports)

These databases are useful for case law research

How to make use of databases for case law research?

In a law database, always turn to the cases section to search for cases. 

Please read on, we will show you how to  

  • find a case when case name is known
  • find a case when case citation is available
  • find cases related to certain facts
  • note up a case

To find a case when the case name is known

From the search template, select the appropriate box, such as,

  • party names
  • case name

and enter the case name. 

To find a case when citation is available

From the search template, select the box, citation, and enter the information.

To find cases related to certain facts

From the search termplate, select the approrpriate search box, such as

  • Catchwords/Headnotes
  • Subject/Catchword
  • Subject

and enter your search terms.

To note up a case

  • Case signals

Some databases use case signal to indicate the appeal history or subsequent treatment of a case. Case signal is generally found besides the case name. Pay attention to the case signals and follow the related information to note up a case. See the two examples below.

  • Other mechanisms

Hyperlinks are used in some databases to note up cases. See this example below.