QLD Family Law Cases / Precedents

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Active Member
27 October 2014
I am an applicant in a (very) complicated family law case. Currently self-represented and wanted to enquire the best way to incorporate case law and precedents in our case and interim hearing. What is the best way to find the cases and talk about the precedent etc!

Thank you for your help! Any advice is appreciated!


Well-Known Member
27 October 2014
Brisbane, QLD

The best way to find precedents for free online is to head over to https://jade.barnet.com.au/Jade.html

After watching the tutorial you should be pretty expert in using the search tool and finding family law cases similar to yours.

If I want to incorporate case law prior to a hearing I make written submissions (a brief written argument referring to case law) and email it to the judges' / members associate a few days before the hearing and ask them to 'place it on the Courts file'.

Hopefully the judge / member then reads them prior the hearing. If not, I ask to "speak to my submissions" at the oral hearing, which hopefully mean that the judge / member will have regard to your written document prior to making a decision.

Not sure what part of Qld you are in but there's a great community legal service family lawyer at www.mbrcls.org.au who can help more.
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Some other free resources for caselaw online are:
Make sure when you are using case law to argue your point in court you highlight only the relevant issues and use only relevant statements made by the judge with respect to the findings of the case. You can use cases to support a statement of law, or reason that since a judge decided a certain way on a given set of facts, a case where similar facts exist should be decided similarly.

A good way to approach case law is to try to identify:
  • The material/ relevant facts that are significant - i.e. what were the circumstances of the parties
  • The issues that were put before the court / or the questions that the judge had to answer
  • The rule or statement of law that the judge relied on to answer the question (otherwise known as the Ratio decidendi)
  • The outcome - who won
Then you will be better able to apply it to your own circumstances.


7 December 2018
Hi FamilyLawMum,

I would add a couple of "do's and don'ts" when it comes to caselaw:

1. Don't put references to case law in affidavits,
2. Do write a separate "outline of argument" that you can hand up on the day or refer to in your own arguments,
3. Don't make the mistake of thinking "more is better" (we've all done it..!),
4. Do use 1 maybe 2 relevant cases that can be applied to your situation, and
5. Do know those cases well.

All the best with your case..