RTF or PDF, please

Supreme Court Practice Note 9 of 2011 was signed last month. It replaces Practice Notes No 3 of 2004 and No 1 of 2006.

The Note lends increased legitimacy to medium neutral citations and might even help to reduce the amount of unnecessary photocopying that goes on. It also draws attention to the preference for Rich Text Format (RTF) prints from AustLII rather than the direct-from-screen prints sometimes used. (The latter have an AustLII banner prominently at the top of the first page).

The Note includes the instructions on how to produce RTF prints:

1) Click on the link to view the judgment.

2) Choose the “Download” option in the toolbar above the case citation.

3) Click on the “Rich Text Format (RTF)” or “Portable Document Format (PDF)”
hyperlink below the heading “Available Data Formats”.

4) Print the document and provide in this format.

I should also mention the Court’s Practice Note 8, which clarifies the status of decisions which have the phrase no point of principle in their headnote. The Note prohibits reference to such cases without leave.

Caen discusses the problems with this direction here. I’d always thought that the catchwords of a headnote didn’t form part of the judgment they summarise, and shouldn’t be assumed to have been written by the authors of the judgment.

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