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Secondary Materials Research: Secondary Materials

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Secondary Legal Materials

Secondary legal materials are those materials which are ABOUT the law.  Secondary materials include:

  • Explanatory Memoranda (EMs), Second Reading Speeches, Reports, Bills

  • Books, journals and commentaries which discuss the law

  • Reference tools which help find the law (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, guides and directories).


Primary legal materials are the documents which contain the written records of the law

  • Legislation

  • Cases


Extrinsic legal materials are documents, defined within a jurisdiction's Interpretation Act, which can be used in court to interpret the meaning and intent of legislation.
These include an Act’s Second Reading Speech, Explanatory Memorandum, and the relevant reports of Parliamentary Committees or Law Reform body.