Unreported decision

Referencing unreported decisions

Case name[Year]CourtJudge­ment no.
Rowland v Alfred Health [2014] FCA 2
  • Unreported decisions utilise a ‘medium neutral citation’ that does not depend on a publisher or medium
  • The party names are listed first and italicised
  • The year is enclosed in square brackets “[ ]”
  • Court identifiers are abbreviated. For example, FCA is used for Federal Court of Australia and HCA for the High Court of Australia
  • Judgement numbers are commonly used, these are applied by the relevant court
  • Unreported decisions with a medium neutral citation do not require the full date
  • A full stop is used at the end of a footnote
  • A full stop is not used in a bibliography.


Individual party names

Stanford v Stanford [2012] HCA 52

Company party names

Trusted Cloud Pty Ltd v Core Desktop Pty Ltd [2015] FCA 33

The Crown as the first party

R v Coulter [2014] VSC 42

The Crown as respondent

Picone v The Queen [2015] VSCA 5

Entry in footnote

R v Giles [2014] VSC 210

Entry in bibliography

Tauaifaga v TCN Channel Nine Pty Ltd[2013] NSWSC 8

Further information

Referencing case law: ‘in text’ and pinpoint references

In text references

  • An ‘in text’ reference usually cites the case, text or reference in the body of an essay or report.
  • A footnote should immediately follow the portion of text which it is relevant to
  • It should also follow directly after any relevant punctuation (i.e. a full stop or comma)
  • A full stop should appear at the end of all footnotes citing case law.
In text reference example

“Recent developments in Australian law following the decision of the High Court in IceTV Pty Ltd v Network Nine Australia Pty Ltd (IceTV)1 illustrate a fundamental shift in the approach of courts regarding the importance and form of authorship.”

Pinpoint references

A pinpoint reference is a reference to a specific page, paragraph or other section of a decision

  • A pinpoint reference to a page should appear as a number – do not use ‘p’ or ‘pg’
  • A pinpoint reference to a paragraph should appear as a number in square brackets.
Example of pinpoint reference to a page

Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd and Others v Sharman License Holdings Ltd and Others (2005) 220 ALR 1, 3.

Example of a pinpoint reference to a paragraph

Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Ltd, (2012) 286 ALR 466, 488 [95]