Law Resource Guide

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

Understanding Legislation

Laws are formal rules which society uses to define how people and organisations are expected to behave. Section 51 of the Australian Constitution gives the Australian Parliament the power to make laws in relation to certain matters. In Parliament, a bill is a proposal for a new law or a change to an existing one. Bills often seek to address an important issue facing the Australian community.

 

General resources

Commonwealth Resources

Locating up to date Acts                                               

Federal Register of Legislation - Acts from 1901 - present

TimeBase - Acts from 1998 - present

Lawlex - Acts from 1901 - present

Locating point in time Acts

TimeBase - offers a point in time service for some Commonwealth legislation, and are grouped by subject category

Federal Register of Legislation - limited point in time service for historical versions of Acts from 1901 - present

Locating Acts as made Federal Register of Legislation Tables contains the Acts Table 1901 + (an alphabetical and chronological consolidated list of all Acts passed and hopw they were affected by later legislation. (Very useful for historical research); annual Acts Tables 1993 +; Repealed Acts Tables 1998 +
Legislative history LawNow on Lexis Advance provides detailed informaiton about the history of Acts and subordinate legislation including assents, commencement information and amendment information.

State Resources

Australian Capital Territory The ACT Legislation Register in the authorised source for Australian Capital Territory legislation
New South Wales

Acts as originally passed by Parliament from 1824 can be browsed on the NSW Legislation website

The full text of Acts as originally passed by Parliament from 1990 can be searched on the NSW Legislation website

Northern Territory The Northern Territory Legislation website is the authoritative source for Northern Territory Legislation
Queensland The Queensland Legislation website is the authoritative source for Queensland legislation
Tasmania The Tasmanian Legislation website is the authoritative source for Tasmanian legislation
South Australia The South Australian Legislation website is the authoritative source for South Australian legislation
Victoria The Victorian Legislation website is the authoritative source for Victorian legislation
Western Australia The Western Australian Legislation website by the Parliamentary Council Office is the authoritative source for Western Australian legislation

 

Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII)

AustLII publishes public legal information, including primary legal materials (legislation, treaties and decisions of courts and tribunals) as well as secondary legal materials created by public bodies for purposes of public access (law reform and royal commission reports for example). It also includes a substantial collection of law journals.

From the AustLII home page, you can click on a jurisdiction and 'drill down' until you find the relevant legislation.
Alternatively, you can search AustLII using the search box on the home page (an 'Advanced Search' option is also available).

Legify

Legify is an index of Australian Commonwealth Acts and Regulations.  While it does not contain full text of legislation, it is useful as a quick tool for searching for accurate titles and currency of Australian legislation.

Lawlex

Lawlex gives you access to full-text Australian legislation, with associated Bill tracking, amendment & commencement information and related extrinsic materials.

You can also browse legislation; deselect all the jurisdictions and then select the jurisdiction you are researching. Then select the category and if necessary a sub category.

Federal Register of Legislation

The Federal Register of Legislation has the most complete and up-to-date collection of Commonwealth legislation and includes notices from the Commonwealth Government Notices Gazette from 1 October 2012.

What's New lists everything recently published to the Federal Register of Legislation within the last:

  • 3 months for Acts
  • 21 days for Gazettes
  • 14 days for all other material

You can also register for My Account to stay up to date on Commonwealth law.

Use the Help link if you require more information about how to use the site.

Federal Register of Legislation Legislation Tables contains the Acts Table 1901+ (an alphabetical and chronological consolidated list of all Acts passed and how affected by later legislation. Very useful for historical research); annual Acts Tables 1993+; Repealed Acts Tables 1988+.

 

Parliamentary Websites

Legislative material is available via parliamentary websites. This material includes bills, acts, regulations, statutory rules, explanatory notes etc.