When considering a barrister it may be helpful to know something about the available records of his or her cases.
Click to search AustLII records for Geoffrey Hancy (232 records). Click to find examples of successful hearings, trials and appeals in the past 10 years. Use the orange search window in the top right corner of this page to search by key word or phrase for a case or paper.
Initial search results: Enter the first and second initials and surname, and then click ‘Search’ to see a list of AustLII results. You can use the Legal Practice Board’s search tool of certificated legal practitioners to find the first and second (an in some cases third) initials of a Western Australian barrister.
AustLII provides a Search Help page, if you need assistance. You should also read the material below under Refine your initial search results.
Refine your initial search results:
The search might over-return or under-return results and may require refinement. It will be an approximation of cases and not necessarily an exact report of all cases. In the Search window enter your Boolean search query including names or search terms to include or exclude. AustLII provides a Search Help page, if you need assistance.
“j b bloggs” OR “j bloggs”
“j b bloggs” OR “jb bloggs” OR “j bloggs” NOT “j z bloggs”
AustLII records typically show first and second initial and surname of the barrister. Hence it may be best to use “j b bloggs” form as the initial form of search term. If the records show three first names try the form “j b c bloggs”. Some records might be in the related but different form”jb bloggs” or “j bloggs”. The “j bloggs” form might produce a number of false results for a common surname.
Carefully review the entries to ensure you have not excluded relevant results and you have excluded irrelevant results. For example, a search by first initial only and surname might exclude relevant results that might be found using first and second initial and surname. False results might occur, for example, where more than one person has the same first initial and surname, or where the name is a person or company other than the lawyer and is a party or is in the text of the reasons for decision. A search by surname only may help you to find a case that shows second initial and then enables a more refined search.
The results will only show cases where written reasons for decision were delivered. They will include not only trial and appeal decisions but also decisions following interlocutory hearings. You can and should review results to gain an idea of the breakdown between trial and interlocutory decisions.
The By Database tab on the results page will list the results by jurisdiction. For example, decisions of the High Court and the Court of Appeal of Western Australia will be separately identified. The By Database search result might suggest that there is a second person with the same name (by initials and/or surname) as the barrister you are researching, with the second person identified in the records of the courts and tribunals of another jurisdiction.
You may also find on reviewing individual search results that they are not a record of a case where the barrister was counsel but might be, for example, an appearance before a court at a ceremonial sitting or a record from an online article. A barrister might be, or have been, a member of a tribunal. Search results might include reasons for decision where the barrister was a tribunal member rather than counsel. A result showing ‘State of Western Australia’ as a party might be a criminal case and not a civil or commercial litigation case.
You might further refine your search to cases that include a particular search term. For example search result that might be helpful would use the Boolean query form “j b bloggs” OR “jb bloggs” or “j bloggs” AND “[single descriptive word or phrase for type of case, e.g. negligence, contract, or misleading conduct]”.
The raw statistical result will not necessarily tell you all that you seek. For example, it will not show the subject matter of the decision or who was the successful party. Analysis of whether the result was for an interlocutory hearing, trial, or appeal, nature of case, whether lead counsel, outcome and success rate will require examination of the content of the decisions. Using Boolean tools will aid refinement of your search.