Commonwealth Law Reports

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Commonwealth Law Reports (CLR)
Commonwealth Law Reports.jpg
Selected CLR volumes at a law library.
Author J D Merralls AM QC (ed.)
Country Australia
Subject Law Report
Publisher Lawbook Co., a division of Thomson Reuters
Publication date
April 1903 -
Media type Print / Online

The Commonwealth Law Reports (CLR) (ISSN 0069-7133) are the authorised reports of decisions of the High Court of Australia.[1] The CLR are published by the Lawbook Company, a division of Thomson Reuters. James Merralls QC has been editing the Reports since 1969.

"Being the authorised reports, every judgment and headnote is checked by the judges of the High Court before inclusion in the Commonwealth Law Reports.

Each reported judgment includes a comprehensive headnote, written by an expert reporter, and approved by the High Court. Headnotes highlight the key issues of each case and include a summary of counsel’s arguments to the High Court. The Commonwealth Law Reports also include tables of cases reported, affirmed, reversed, overruled, applied or judicially commented on and cited, making it easy to find the precise information needed.

The online version has a full archive and includes PDF versions of the reports. It features links to FirstPoint to allow FirstPoint subscribers to quickly check the history and currency of a decision."[1]


For lawyers, the Commonwealth Law Reports are the preferred source for decisions of the High Court of Australia. An example of proper citation is:

[ The Commonwealth v Tasmania]] (1983) 158 CLR 1

This citation indicates that the decision of the Court in the case entitled 'The Commonwealth v Tasmania, decided in 1983, can be found beginning at page 1 of volume 158 of the Commonwealth Law Reports.

An alternative citation, which is medium neutral, is:

[The Commonwealth v Tasmania]] [1983] HCA 23

This citation refers to the case entitled The [2]Commonwealth v Tasmania which was the 23rd case decided by the High Court of Australia in 1983.

Furthermore, there may be times when it is preferable to cite a case with reference to both the Commonwealth Law Reports, and the medium neutral citation, and that would appear as:

The Commonwealth v Tasmania (1983) 158 CLR 1; [1983] HCA 23

This is known as parallel citation.


  1. ^ a b "Commonwealth Law Reports". Thomson Reuters Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  2. ^ I

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