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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.

Search tips for finding resources on jurisprudence

Use these search tips in LibrarySearch, the Journals Databases and Google Scholar

Search Tips:

  • Use quotation marks to search for phrases                                               "legal positivism"  
  • Use the star to search for variant endings of a word                                  feminis*   (finds feminist, feminism)
  • Use the question mark to search for alternative spellings of a word          globali?ation  (finds globalisation, globalization)

Finding books on jurisprudence

Use LibrarySearch to find books on jurisprudence by, for example:

key word:

jurisprudence      legal philosophy      natural law      legal positivism      liberalism and law

law and economics     postmodernism and law     feminist jurisprudence     sociological jurisprudence


Jurisprudence by Ratnapala

Introduction to feminist jurisprudence by Barnett

Legal theories: contexts and practices by Leiboff and Thomas

A sociological theory of law Luhmann


Suri Ratnapala

Finding journal articles on jurisprudence

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 morals and the law.

Use these search terms:

      moral* OR ethic* OR beliefs AND law 

Search these databases to find Australian law journal articles:

AGIS        Lexis Advance        Westlaw AU        HeinOnline        AustLII

See more databases that provide access to law journals here.


Find brief encyclopaedic articles on jurisprudence topics, for example 

The Laws of Australia

Free Text: "feminist jurisprudence"

Halsbury's Laws of Australia

Search Terms: "legal positivism"

Research centres

The University of Sydney's Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence

University of New South Wales Gilbert and Tobin Centre of Public Law Public Law and Legal Theory Project