Refugee Caselaw Site
University of Michigan Law School

Quick Search Tutorial

You can search the Refugee Caselaw Site database two different ways. If you wish, you can use our Quick Search to find cases that contain the word or words of your choice. However, we recommend you use our Guided Search. The Guided Search consists of a number of carefully integrated variables that will help you quickly target exactly the right cases, and filter out those that aren't relevant.

How to Perform a Quick Search

This search allows you to find cases that contain specific words or phrases anywhere within the case file, including the actual decision. Quick Search allows you to enter search terms using any combination of the Boolean operators , AND, OR, AND NOT, and NEAR.

  • Use the AND operator to find cases that contain both of the adjoining words or phrases.
  • Use the OR operator to separate multiple words or phases within the search term.
  • Use the AND NOT operator to exclude a word or phrase.
  • Use the NEAR operator to find words within 50 words of each other.
  • Use parentheses and combinations of operators to narrow your search even further.

Quick Search Examples

  • Female AND Genital AND Mutilation
    This search will return cases that contain all three words in the case file.
  • Female OR Mutilation
    This search will return cases that contain either the word Female or the word Mutilation in the case file.
  • Female AND NOT Mutilation
    This search will return cases that contain the word Female, but not the word Mutilation.
  • Female NEAR Mutilation
    This search will return cases that contain the word Female within 50 words of Mutilation.
  • Genital AND Mutilation OR Circumcision
    This search will return cases that contain the words Genital and Mutilation or the word Circumcision.
  • Genital AND (Mutilation OR Circumcision)
    This search will return cases that contain the words Genital and Mutilation or the words Genital and Circumcision.
  • If your search term contains a word that is a Boolean operator, enclose the term using quotation marks. E.g. "Trinidad and Tobago"