Law Resource Guide

This guide provides information on finding legal resources for courses in the LAWS Program.

About Law

The law is the system of rules and regulations by which society functions efficiently and harmoniously. The legal system protects the rights and responsibilities of both individuals and groups, and ensures social and economic interactions are conducted smoothly and peacefully. Essentially, laws serve as the primary mediator of relations between people.

Every state and country has its own legal system.  There are many different branches of law including corporate law, property and taxation law through to media, environmental health and international law. All types of law have far-reaching effects and help to shape politics, economics and society in numerous ways.

Administrative Law

"Administrative law is an area of law that you will need to rely on if you wish to challenge a decision or action of a government official, department or authority. Administrative law may also apply when the person whose decision you wish to challenge is not a government officer but is exercising "public power" (e.g. a power granted to a person by a statute). Decisions or actions governed by administrative law are called (in this chapter) "administrative decisions"."

Administrative Law. (2017). The Law Handbook 2018.  Retrieved from opens in a new window

Constitutional Law

Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.

  • Australia Act 1986 (Cth) opens in a new window
  • Documenting a Democracy: Australia's Story opens in a new window
    This website tells the story of Australia through the documents which give our national, state and territory governments the right to govern.' Includes Commonwealth Of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK), Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942 (Cth), Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) Australia Act 1986 (Cth),Constitution Act 1867 (Qld), Constitution Act Amendment Act 1922 (Qld) and Australian Courts Act 1828 (UK).
  • WorldLII - Constitutional Law opens in a new window

Consumer Law

Consumer law covers national laws guaranteeing consumer rights when buying goods and services.

Contract Law

Contract law encompasses any laws or regulations directed toward enforcing certain promises. In Australia contract law is primarily regulated by the 'common law', but increasingly statutes are supplementing the common law of contract - particularly in relation to consumer protection.

Criminal Law

The criminal law of Australia is generally administered by individual jurisdictions in the Commonwealth of Australia. These jurisdictions include the six states, the Commonwealth, and the self-governing territories. It is in large part a matter for the states, with only a small subset of criminal activities reserved for Commonwealth government to prosecute.

  • Australian Institute of Criminology  
    The Australian Institute of Criminology is Australia's national research and knowledge centre on crime and justice
  • Crime and Misconduct Commission (Qld)  
    The CMC came into existence on 1 January 2002 when the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and the Queensland Crime Commission (QCC) merged to form the new organisation
  • Institute of Criminology  
    A centre of the University of Sydney dedicated to public education on criminal justice issues

Family Law

Family Law is the branch of law that deals with matters relating to the family, such as divorce and child custody.

Tort Law

What is a tort?

"A civil right of action arising independently of contract, restitution, crime or equity. Torts serve to protect a person’s interest in his or her bodily security, tangible property, financial resources, or reputation. Unlawful interference with one of these interests is redressable by an action for damages and potential interference may be prevented by injunction. The law of torts aims to restore the injured person to the position he or she was in before the tort was committed."

Tort. (n.d.). In Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary. Retrieved from Lexis Nexis Australia.

Links to some online web resources

Here is a list of links to various websites. Please make sure to critically evaluate any information that you draw from these sources prior to using in any of your assessment tasks.