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Find cases: Irish cases

This guide suggests where to look for Irish and European cases


Irish courts, established by the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Act, 1961, are the Supreme Court, High Court, Court of Criminal Appeal, Circuit Court and District Court.

Irish cases may be reported in the Irish reports (IR) and|or the Irish law reports monthly (ILRM), or unreported. The Library's subscriptions to databases Lexis Library (legal) and Justis give us access to the full text of the Irish reports, and our subscription to database WestlawIE gives us full text access to the Irish law reports monthly

Justis and Lexis also provide access to unreported cases, as do the websites of the Courts Service of Ireland and the Irish Legal Information Initiative (ILII) by UCC (via BAILII)

Helpful citators (in JustCite (by Justis Publishing) and Lexis)

What's a citator?

"A citator is a guide published primarily for use by judges and lawyers when they are in the process of preparing such papers as judicial decisions, briefs, or memoranda of law. Its purpose is to provide a judicial history of cases and statutes as well as to make a note of new cases. A citator indicates whether or not the law in a particular case has been followed, modified, or overruled in subsequent cases." --The free dictionary by Farlex > Legal dictionary

JustCite is a good place to start looking for Irish cases. It is not a full text legal library in itself but instead offers links to full text legal libraries like Justis and Lexis alongside its own very useful commentary and data. JustCite principally looks at the relationship between cases, showing which cases were cited in a given case (see Cases considered), and which case(s) that case has subsequently been cited in (see Subsequent cases).

The green | amber | red traffic light system shows how a case has been treated in subsequent cases and is intended as an indicator of "good law".

  • Green | positive lists subsequent cases that have affirmed, approved, followed, applied or relied upon the findings of a case;
  • Amber | neutral lists subsequent cases that have referred to, considered or cited a case;
  • Red | negative lists cases that have not followed, not applied, overruled, disapproved, reversed or dismissed as not applicable the findings of a case. (JustCite 2014)

Cases with little or no red | negative treatments rank highly and may be considered "good law". This is a good way of identifying leading cases. Note: JustCite automatically lists search results according to this ranking, so leading cases will be near the top unless you choose other criteria.

Below is an example of a precedent map created by JustCite, showing the relationship between case Goodman v Carlton (2001) and other cases:

In Overview and citations, all relevant legislation is listed in the summary alongside key considerations of the case.

Search JustCite by citation, keyword, party name

If, for any reason, a link to full text of a case is not provided within JustCite, take down the details of the citation and search separately for...

Like the traffic light system in JustCite, Lexis provides little icons beside (most) cases as indicators of "good law" in case overview. See tables showing cases referring to this case in case overview. Note the disclaimer in the notes that follows the table below.

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Citing Irish cases

See chapter 2.2 of the OSCOLA Ireland guide (2nd ed.) for rules on citing Irish case law (Pg. 11-17), or the quick reference guide.

Quick links

Below are links to databases the Library subscribes to. You will need to access them via the Library website so that you can be associated with our paid subscriptions. Please note: you will be asked to login with your DCU username and password.


Alexander Kouker
O'Reilly Library, Glasnevin Campus |
Subjects: Law & GovernmentCommunicationsApplied Language & Intercultural Studies
Interests: Research MethodsBloggingPublishing