The concept of an independent Council of Law Reporting had its genesis in England in the 1860s. At the time, law reports were being produced by a large number of private publishers. There was a proliferation in the number of reported cases, rising costs for the profession to obtain access to all the reports and unacceptable delays in the publication of authorised reports. A number of possible solutions to these problems were canvassed, including intervention by the government or the courts to produce “official” reports of judgments. The model which was ultimately adopted involved the establishment of an independent body – the Council of Law Reporting – to publish at “at moderate cost” the key decisions of the courts in law reports which had been reviewed and corrected by the deciding Judges – the Law Reports. By convention, these became the preferred version of reports for citation before the courts of England and Wales.
This reform to the system of law reporting was not immediately followed in Queensland. At the time, the legal profession was very small and it was left to the daily newspapers to provide the only detailed record of the reasons for judgment delivered by the Supreme Court. By 1878-1880, the first privately produced series of Queensland law reports had emerged (Queensland Law Reports). In 1881-1901, this was followed by another privately published set of reports, the Queensland Law Journal Reports.
In December 1901, the Supreme Court Library, under the leadership of Sir Samuel Griffith CJ, established the first Council of Law Reporting in Queensland. This Council was explicitly based on the English model, and began to publish the first authorised reports of the Supreme Court in 1902 – the State Reports of Queensland.
This series, later renamed the Queensland Reports, continues to the present day. Since 1907, it has been published by the successor to the original Council of Law Reporting, the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for the State of Queensland.