Search Operators 

JustCite supports all of the usual search operators, sometimes also known as connectors. The basics of using these operators are covered in the user-level help files. The information below covers more advanced uses of search operators, and details some additional operators aimed at power users which are not covered in the help files. Click here for a printable guide (PDF).

Boolean Operators

JustCite supports all the usual Boolean operators including AND, OR and NOT.


Both words must appear at least once in the fields requested. The search disclosure AND document will return a result containing:

The court ordered the disclosure of the document.

Note that the AND operator will always be implied unless:
  1. the terms are enclosed in double quotation marks, or;
  2. the OR or NOT operators are specified explicitly instead.
Therefore, a search for corporation tax will return the same results as corporation AND tax, whereas "corporation tax" will return only those results containing that precise phrase.

TIP: For the avoidance of doubt, it should be said that this behaviour in treating the AND as implied corresponds to that of Justis and Westlaw, but is the direct opposite of how Lexis Library behaves.


At least one of the words either side must be present in the document, but not necessarily both. The search homicide OR murder will return both
  1. The Homicide Act has been amended.
  2. The sentence for murder has been extended.

TIP: The OR operator is especially useful when searching by subject keyword as it enables you to broaden your search to encompass multiple synonyms or near-synonyms.


Any document containing the subsequent word is removed from the search results. The search judicial review NOT criminal would exclude a document containing the phrase:

This is an application for judicial review in the context of a criminal appeal.

The NOT operator is very powerful, be careful you do not accidentally exclude useful results.

TIP: The search operators are not case sensitive: Both OR and or produce the same result.

Proximity Operators

JustCite allows you to search for terms that appear within a certain distance from one another. JustCite supports the standard w/x syntax, as well as the long form within x of. The search injunction w/5 interim would return the following keywords:

Civil Procedure, Interim Injunction

The search would not return the following:

Injunction, Family Law, Failure to comply with Order, Interim Payments

TIP: We have predefined the word near as a shorthand for within 10 of. You can also specify a word sequence within the proximity range using the form w/x before or w/x after.

Bear in mind that because JustCite is an index, proximity operators are not as important as they are on full-text resources, and the circumstances in which a proximity search will return results significantly different from a simple AND search are somewhat limited.

Wildcard Operators

JustCite supports the following wildcard operators:
  • Asterisk (*) – stem search to check different correct word endingschild* would return the results child, children, childish
  • Question Mark (?) – character substitution – searching for a single unknown characterwom?n would return woman or women
  • Tilde (~) – fuzzy/”near match” search which allows for spelling mistakes.smith~ would return smith, smithe, smyth, smits
  • Hyphen (-) – matches hyphenated and unhyphenated forms of the search termlife-boat will match “life-boat”, “life boat” and “lifeboat”.

NOTE: If no results are returned on a literal search, a fuzzy search will be carried out automatically and the permutation with the most numerous results selected. Therefore, it is only necessary to use the fuzzy search operator explicitly when you want to match multiple variations within a single set of results.

Year Range Operators

There are two differing syntaxes for using year range operators, depending on whether you are using the general Search or the Advanced Search. In the general search, you must use the field restrictor Year [ date search string ]. For example:
  • Year [before 1932]
  • Year [from 1995 to 2005]
  • Year [after 2001]
In the Advanced Search, you can dispense with the Year [ ] and simply enter the operators directly in the date search boxes. For example:
  • before 1932
  • from 1995 to 2005

Nesting Operators

JustCite supports the use of parentheses to “nest” your search terms and operators, thereby forcing JustCite to process them in a certain order. Consider the following search: "Anton Piller" or search and order or injunction JustCite will return results containing any of the following:
  • The phrase "Anton Piller"
  • The two terms search and order
  • The word injunction
So, we will end up with a lot of results that have little to do with Anton Piller orders. Consider instead the effect of this search: ("Anton Piller" or search) and (order or injunction) This time JustCite will return results containing:
  • Either the phrase "Anton Piller" or the word search; and
  • Either the word order or the word injunction.
In other words, it will match “Anton Piller order”, “search order”, “search injunction” and “Anton Piller injunction”, but not just “injunction” on its own.