Skip to main content

Legal Research Methods

This guide provides access to major Australian legal resources. It also provides tips on searching for different types of legal resources.

Extrinsic material

Documents outside of, but related to, legislation are used to clarify the meaning of legislation.

Extrinsic material includes:

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) 

Bills

Explanatory Memoranda for Bills

Parliamentary Committee reports

Royal Commission and Law Reform Commission reports

Treaties and other international agreements referred to in an Act.

Find extrinsic material for an Act

LawOne 

From the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) page, select Details -- Enacted From Trade Practices Bill 1973 -- Additional Information and Bill

Judicial consideration of legislation

Find court decisions that have discussed provisions of an Act.

Example:

Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) s 29

FirstPoint

Advanced search - free text: Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) /5 29 

CaseBase 

Legislation judicially considered:  competition and Consumer Act w/p 29 

LawOne 

Find the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) -- click on Case Link 

AustLII

Search for the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and select s 29 -- click on the Note-Up tab at the top of the screen

Parliamentary records

Hansard and other parliamentary documents are available on Parliamentary websites. 

Australia  Hansard online from 1901 

Victoria  Hansard online from 1999

Australian Capital Territory  Hansard online from 1989

New South Wales Hansard online from 1856

Northern Territory Hansard online from 1974

Queensland Hansard online from 1981

South Australia Hansard online from 1993

Tasmania

Western Australia

Law Reform

Issues papers, discussion paper and the reports of law reform bodies provide comprehensive analysis of areas of law.

Australian Law Reform Commission

Victorian Law Reform Commission

AustLII Australasian Law Reform Library 

Encyclopaedias

The Laws of Australia

Chapter 25 Interpretation and Use of Legal Sources

Advanced Search -- Free Text: "competition and consumer act" and 29

Halsbury's Laws of Australia

Sources -- Halsbury's Laws of Australia

Browse -- Chapter 385 Statutes

Search -- Search Terms: competition and consumer act w/p 29

Books

Use LibrarySearch to find texts by key word or title:

Bottomley, Stephen and Corcoran, Suzanne, Interpreting Statutes (Federation Press, 2005)

Gleeson, Justin and Higgins, Ruth, Constituting Law (Federation Press, 2011)

Gotsis, Tom, Statutory Interpretation :Principles and Pragmatism for a New Age (Judicial Commission of New South Wales, 2007)

Hall, Kath and Macken, Claire, Legislation and Statutory Interpretation (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2009)

Leiboff,  Margaret, Legal Theories in Principle, (Lawbook, 2004)

Manchester, Colin and Salter, David, Manchester and Salter on Exploring the Law :The Dynamics of Precedent and Statutory Interpretation (Sweet & Maxwell, 2011)

Pearce, D C and Geddes, R S, Statutory Interpretation in Australia (Lexis Nexis Butterworths, 7th ed, 2011)

Sanson, Michelle, Statutory Interpretation (Oxford University Press, 2012)