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Jurisprudence Reading List

Books   |   Articles   |   Case law and legislation   |   Those abbreviations

Now that you've chosen your topic for the Jurisprudence assignment, you need to locate some of the readings for your topic, and find other useful ones as well. This page will give you some guidance on how to find what you need.


Search Library Search for the book title. This will enable you to find out:

- whether the Library has the book
- if it's actually on the shelf or already out on loan
- if it's available on Course Reserve.

Each book is listed by title in the reading list, which will make searching a lot easier. If the item on the reading list is a book CHAPTER you'll need to look up the title of the book, not the chapter title. The Book title is he one in italics.

  • See our wiki page about using the Library for details about exactly how to find things we do have, and what to do if you require something that is not available.


  • You can identify an article because the title (after the author name) is in speech marks and not italicized like book titles.
  • The reference to the publication (law review or journal) which contains the article is usually abbreviated into the formal citation reference for that publication, which makes life difficult when you're trying to find out if the journal is in the Library. For a solution to this problem, read the section below on abbreviations.
  • Many of these articles are available either in print in the Central Law Library and/or online. Save yourself the hassle of trying to find out which database they're in
    - use the Library Search to search for the journal title: if it's available online, the Catalogue will include a link to the database/s.
  • For the Jurisprudence assignment, it is possible to search the catalogue for an article from the reading list by the article's title. If your search is successful you'll have a link to the article (usually via JSTOR).
  • This is for articles in the reading list only.
  • Not all articles in the reading list will be available this way, and you'll need to search the Catalague for the journal itself.

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Case law and Legislation

Cases fall into two groups - unreported and reported. Have a look at these two examples.

  • R v Reekie CA339/03, 3 August 2004: This is an unreported case. How can you tell? Because it has a court file number instead of a reference to a law report series, silly!
  • You can find NZ unreported cases in Westlaw NZ.
  • Taylor v New Zealand Poultry Board [1984] 1 NZLR 394 (CA) - This case has been reported in the New Zealand Law Reports [NZLR].

Legislation is also easily identifiable.

  • In Westlaw NZ, find the piece of legislation you need, open the Act / section, and relevant case law is located under the Related Documents tab.

Those abbreviations!

There's no need to panic about strange abbreviations like this:

HRQ (or Hum Rts Q)
U Pa L Rev
Ohio St. J on Dispute Resolution
Phil. Rev. 3

The Library Catalogue understands almost all abbreviations for law reports and law journals and reviews, but you'll first need the full publication title in order to search the Catalogue for more obscure ones. Citation dictionaries provide this information.

Citation dictioneries

There are two web sites which serve as online citation dictionaries:

  • Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations provides two search options - one for finding out the full title for the legal abbreviation, and the other does the reverse. Cardiff covers almost all legal citation abbreviations. If you don't get a result for your Cardiff search, you may have entered the citation incorrectly.
  • LCANZ - an online index for New Zealand legal citations. A bonus of LCANZ is that it conforms to the citation formats prescribed in the New Zealand Law Style Guide.

Once you have identified your abbreviation, search for the unabbreviated title of the journal in the Library Catalogue.