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Westlaw Australia Guide - KeyCite

Last Published: January 14, 2020

The KeyCite citation network is integrated with the Key Number system to verify whether a case is good law, determine the depth of treatment from subsequent cases and legislation, and provides citing references to support your legal argument.

  1. KeyCite Flags alert you to negative references or events that may impact the document’s validity.
    When applicable, a description and a link for the most negative treatment is available at the top of the document.
    If a case or administrative decision has a red or yellow flag, the most negative treatment is displayed next to the flag at the top of the document.
    The case with the most impact on the case is shown at the top of the case document.

     A yellow flag warns that the decision has some negative history but has not been reversed or overruled.
     A red flag warns that the case may not be good law, indicating that the decision has been reversed or overruled.

  2. KeyCite History tells you if the case’s decision was reversed or upheld in a later appeal.

  • The Negative Treatment tab includes negative direct litigation history, and negative citing references for a case.
  • The History tab includes the direct litigation history and related proceedings relevant to this case.
  1. KeyCite Citing References help you investigate how other authorities have interpreted that document.

  • The Citing References tab provides a list of cases and secondary source materials that cite the document.
  • The Table of Authorities tab lists cases relied upon as authoritative by the document you are viewing.
  1. KeyCite Depth of Treatment bars indicate the extent to which a citing case, administrative decision, or brief discusses the cited case.


Examined – the citing case, administrative decision, or brief contains an extended discussion of the cited case, usually more than a printed page of text.


Discussed – the citing case, administrative decision, or brief contains a substantial discussion of the cited case, usually more than a paragraph but less than a printed page.


Cited – the citing case, administrative decision, or brief contains some discussion of the cited case, usually less than a paragraph.


Mentioned – the citing case, administrative decision, or brief contains a brief reference to the cited case, usually in a string citation.

KeyCite Alerts

KeyCite Alerts can be used to notify you of any subsequent citing references or changes to the litigation history of the case.

  1. From the case document you are viewing, select the alert bell.
  1. Name your alert and click Continue.

  1. Tick the check boxes to be notified to Citing References, History References, or both.
    There is also an option to limit results to Negative Treatment only.
  2. Select Narrow by Content Type and Other Filters to narrow the citing references by content type or a specific publication.
    Once you have filtered click Save and then Continue.
  1. Enter the email addresses you want the alert to be emailed to.
    Tick the check box to include full text of new documents, use the drop-down menu to update the format, and then click Continue.
  1. Change the frequency of the alert and the time to be emailed, then click Save Alert.
    It is recommended to change the time zone to your own area - see the User Preferences guide.
    To learn more about customising your alerts, see the Alerts guide.

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