The benchbooks are like handbooks to help you understand Fair Work legislation. They explain how the Commission has interpreted the legislation in previous cases to make decisions (‘case law’).
You may find the examples useful as you prepare for a case at the Commission.
We do not show all possible examples for every situation. You can use our document search to find decisions about other cases.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that these resources may contain the names of people who have recently died.
We acknowledge AustLII, Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis, whose services we used to create these resources.
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Enterprise agreements benchbook
General protections benchbook
Industrial action benchbook
Sexual harassment benchbook
Unfair dismissals benchbook
JobKeeper disputes benchbook
References in the benchbooks
Vaccination related matters
These benchbooks are general guides only and are correct at the time we publish them. You should not rely on them to support a legal case. We recommend you seek professional advice relevant to your situation.
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About case law and precedents
Case law refers to previous decisions that show how courts and tribunals have interpreted the law for a specific case.
When a court or tribunal makes a decision, that interpretation of the law may form a ‘precedent’.
A precedent is a legal decision that provides guidance for future, similar cases.
An authoritative decision is one that lower courts and tribunals must follow on questions of law. Decisions of the High Court of Australia are authoritative in all Australian courts and tribunals.