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An “authorised” series of law reports is one which is recognised, by the court whose judgments are reported, as containing the most authoritative version of its judgments.
The conventional hallmark of the authorised reports is that they are produced pursuant to arrangements with the court, which allow the deciding Judges an opportunity to review and make final corrections to the proposed report before it is published. These corrections are not limited to removing errors in citations, quotations or expression. Judges are entitled to make changes which more clearly express their intended meaning, provided that the change is not one of substance. For this reason, the text of the judgment in an authorised report may differ from the text of the judgment as originally delivered.
By convention, the authorised report of a judgment is the preferred mode of citation. This convention is explicitly confirmed in some jurisdictions by practice direction.
The Queensland Reports contains the authorised reports of the key decisions of the Supreme Court of Queensland. This set of reports commenced in 1902 and continues to the present day with over 100 bound volumes (and counting). It contains a selection of the key decisions of the Supreme Court, as corrected and approved by the deciding judges.
The full series of the Queensland Reports is available as a set of volumes updated by regular monthly parts. New instalments of the Queensland Reports are published on the Queensland Judgments website (which can be accessed free of charge) and are then republished in bound volumes three times a year to be issued to subscribers, adding about 1800 pages of reported judgments to the Queensland Reports annually. These printed editions are available in most public law libraries throughout Australia or can be purchased from the ICLRQ through the ICLRQ Online Customer Portal.
The annual volumes prior to 1972 also incorporate a supplementary series – the Queensland Weekly Notes – which record shorter points decided by the Court, particularly practice decisions. The reported decisions of the Supreme Court of Queensland prior to 1902 are also available in a printed format as a set of 8 bound volumes. These comprise the Queensland Supreme Court Reports (1859-1881), Beor’s Queensland Law Reports (1876-1878) and the Queensland Law Journal Reports (1881-1901). These printed editions are available in most public law libraries throughout Australia or can be purchased from the ICLRQ through the ICLRQ Online Customer Portal.
The Queensland Reports (from 1974) are also accessible online through two of Australia’s principal subscription-based legal websites: LexisNexis Advance (which provides subscribers with a database of reported decisions of the Supreme Court of Queensland extending back to 1975) and Thomson Reuters Westlaw AU (which provides subscribers with a database of reported decisions of the Supreme Court of Queensland extending back to 1902).
From March 2018, online access to the full set of the Queensland Reports, and all earlier reported Queensland judgments, was made readily available to the courts, the legal profession and the public, on a not-for-profit basis, through the Queensland Judgments website. These judgments are accessible in both their original format (as viewable and downloadable PDFs) and in a new searchable online format. The website also provides a complete set of recent unreported judgments from all Queensland Courts and Tribunals (which are continuously updated upon the delivery of each judgment or decision authorised for publication), an appeals database, and a new Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 online service.
On 27 March 2020, the new series of the Queensland Reports commenced, with an improved typography and move to a style which is clearer and more readable. The new series continues to be known as the Queensland Reports, but published for the first time as a set of consecutively numbered volumes. A new form of citation has also been adopted for this series, using round brackets to identify the year of the judgment and a simpler abbreviation for the series – “QR” rather than “Qd R”. Judgments in the new series are cited in the form: (2020) 4 QR 1.