What is FirstPoint?

FirstPoint is an online case law research tool that provides citation information, reliable summaries of important cases and makes it easy to find similar and related cases. In partnership with our customers, we've been working hard to enhance our FirstPoint cases product and are confident that it's now Australia's most powerful case law research tool.

As a FirstPoint customer you will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Qualified and experienced legal editors working for you
  • Finding more cases on your exact point using the FirstPoint classification key, powered by The Australian Digest
  • Clear status flags that tell you if a case has been doubted or overturned
  • Saving time with point-of-law case digests written by our legal team
  • Searching less and finding more on Westlaw AU, using Cases Advanced Search, filters and the popular Related Documents functionality

Don't just take our word for it. Try FirstPoint for yourself and compare it to your current service. Sign up for a 14-day free trial.

FirstPoint helps case law researchers do their job better and faster

FirstPoint makes case law research quick, easy and accurate, and provides a single entry hub for a range of case law content including Australia’s largest collection of authorised and specialist law reports. You also obtain access to information on individual Australian case law from 1825 to the present day, updated daily and with more than 15,000 new cases added every year.

FirstPoint delivers more precise and relevant search results.

With FirstPoint you can complete your research more quickly and more accurately.  FirstPoint highlights significant, useful and relevant case and legislation relationships (those which create law, apply/extend law to new or novel facts or are otherwise important).

FirstPoint uses legally-qualified editors

The core FirstPoint cases team is based in Pyrmont, Sydney.  The legal editors work tirelessly to classify cases, and then create and update case relationships and summaries for FirstPoint – every day. They are all legally-qualified editors, many of whom have had experience in practice, the judiciary, government or academia and who understand the needs of the profession.

The legal editors apply a set of selection criteria to ensure that significant judgments are digested with key points available at a glance. They also summarise (or "digest") the cases to give you a snapshot of the relevant points of law covered by a case enabling you to see the most important points concisely and making your research efficient.

FirstPoint is more than just a citator

FirstPoint classifies cases according to The Australian Digest taxonomy. The taxonomy is a hierarchical classification scheme with a controlled vocabulary, specifically designed for Australian case law. The classification is one of the most respected legal research products in Australia (called The Australian Digest). The scheme itself is supplemented on an annual basis and revised periodically to accommodate changes in legislation and the common law.

Using this scheme, you can research a particular legal topic and find cases relevant to that area at a click of a button. This gives you the ability to narrow the focus of the research from a large number of cases down to a small number of on-point authorities. It also means you can use the “find more cases like this” functionality with the certainty that you are capturing every piece of case law on that topic.

The Australian Digest is so well-respected that it has been adopted by a number of courts across Australia for the catchwording and classification – using the same classification as Thomson Reuters. 

If you are choosing to find cases by browsing, you simply cannot go past the FirstPoint Digest taxonomy.

FirstPoint links to authorised reports

FirstPoint has records for virtually all reported cases since 1825. This is the most extensive collection of authorised law reports in Australia. It provides you with one-click access to the authorised reports, for example, the Commonwealth Law Reports and the Federal Court Reports. Thomson Reuters is the only publisher of many authorised reports.  

  • Rely on the authorised reports available on FirstPoint 

If you are not going to read an entire case, but rather choose to rely on a summary, then make sure you rely on the court-approved summary. 

  • Save valuable time

Access the full text case of an authorised report online – both HTML and the print PDF – with just one click. Have the correct version of a case to present to court. 

Many courts prefer the authorised, reported version of a case because the courts have checked their judgments and the headnotes to ensure accuracy prior reporting. 

The benefits of FirstPoint on Westlaw AU

When you start at FirstPoint and conduct case research, you can:

  • View all results in a consolidated format (the FirstPoint entry, unreported judgment and report versions all on one screen)
  • Instantly filter with Westlaw AU's advanced filtering system (for example, by jurisdiction)
  • View the classification and  link through to relevant cases
  • Decide on a case, print off the authorised or authoritative report with one-click
  • Instantly see all related documents (e.g. journals, commentary, encyclopaedia) for a complete legal research picture
  • Review commentary and link directly back to the case used or to cases related
  • Set an alert or save the research

Westlaw AU enhancements benefit FirstPoint – New features now available

  • A significantly enhanced screen layout to include quick links, improved browsing experience and immediate access to Advanced Search Forms all enable you to save time when researching
  • A new table of contents presents documents in context and further simplifies navigation
  • Upgraded case referencing including FirstPoint verified references
  • Enriched FirstPoint records, with additional case-to-case and case-to-legislation relationship data

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