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Legal Research Methods

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

Find law journal articles on a legal topic

Before you begin searching:

  • Define your topic or research question
  • What are the key concepts? 
  • Compile a list of keywords and synonyms

Example: Find a journal article that discusses the case Wurridjal and  the extent of the Australian government's power to acquire property on just terms.

Use these search terms: 

      wurridjal aquisition property just terms


      wurridjal constitution 51(xxxi)  

and search these databases to find Australian law journal articles:

  • Westlaw AU  (Please note: there is currently an issue with accessing Westlaw AU off-campus.  This issue is being attending to. 7/5/18)

Westlaw AU gives you access to Australian legislation, case law, commentary, journals, news and precedents Formerly Legal Online..

Australia's largest online legal information source. It offers an expanding range of quality subscription services for legal reference and research. It incorporates valuable features to help save time and improve your legal research results.

Select International and non-US law journals -- Search -- Field Search

Attorney General's Information Service (AGIS). Covers all aspects of law. Indexed journals from 1975. Full-text journals (117) from 1999.


For foreign law journals, search Thomson Reuters Westlaw and Westlaw UK.

Set up alerts in journals databases

Google Scholar


Google Scholar searches a range of scholarly items, including journal articles, conference papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports. 

Log in to Google Scholar here and use the search box to access full text articles. (RMIT login is required)

View a short video clip about using Google Scholar  Google vs Google Scholar