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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.

Legal information

There are two distinct types of legal information.

1. Primary Sources - Primary sources of law are the authoritative publications of law made by parliament and the courts. Parliament in each Australian jurisdiction makes legislation and courts decide on legal issues

2. Secondary Sources - Secondary sources of law are used to find and explain primary sources of law. Secondary sources include legal encyclopedias, case citators, case digests, text books, specialist commentary services and journal articles. Government documents are also a major source of secondary legal information and include those documents written in the course of making legislation such as second reading speeches, explanatory memoranda and parliamentary reports.


Search Factiva for current Australian and foreign news. 

        Search example:  "united nations" AND australia AND "asylum seekers"

Proquest Australia & NZ Newsstand - access to leading Australian and New Zealand newspapers.

TV News - Australian television news, current affairs and selected documentaries.