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Law Library at Murdoch University: Training & Micro-Lessons

Sourcing Legislation

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing legislation using specific databases:

Legify.com.au:

Federal Register of Legislation (Cth)
Search by: Name, Year, Currently in Force:
Western Australian Legislation (WA)
Search by:Name, Year, Currently in Force:

State and Territory legislation:
Federal Register of Legislation

​View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing amendments to Acts/legislation using specific databases:

 

Federal Register of Legislation (Cth)
Legify.com.au:
Western Australian Legislation (WA)
Legify.com.au:

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing delegated legislation (e.g. regulations) using specific databases:

Legify.com.au:

Federal Register of Legislation (Cth)
Search by: Name, Year:
Western Australian Legislation (WA):

Other States & Territories:
FRoL: Other Sources of Australian Law

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Bills using specific databases:

Legify.com.au (Cth)
Bills from 1996 onwards:
Federal Register of Legislation (Cth)
Bills from 1996 onwards:
Bills Digest (Cth) (Browse by Year or Search)
Bills from 1976 onwards:
Parliament House (ParlInfo) (Cth)
Bills from 1996 onwards:
Parliament of Western Australia (WA)
Bills from 2000 onwards:

Bills Digest provides useful information on the purpose and background of Bills.

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Explanatory Memoranda using specific databases:

Federal Register of Legislation (Cth)
EMs from 1996 onwards:
Lawlex (Cth)
EMs from 1996 onwards:
Parliament House (ParlInfo) (Cth)
EMs from 1996 onwards:
Parliament of Western Australia (WA)
EMs from 2000 onwards:

Note:

Commonwealth:

Since 1982, Explanatory Memoranda have been standard practice for Bills.
Some of these may be available in print in the Law Library

Commonwealth Explanatory Memoranda Index:
Indicates whether there was an Explanatory Memoranda or Comparative Memoranda accompanying a Bill from 1901 to 1982

For more information on Commonwealth Explanatory Memoranda see Was there an EM? : Explanatory Memoranda and Explanatory Statements in the Commonwealth Parliament

Western Australia:  

Prior to 2000, Explanatory Memoranda in Western Australia were rarely published.

Explanatory Memoranda Pre - 2000: on the Parliamentary Library Western Australia website  

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Second Reading Speeches using specific databases:

Lawlex:
2RS from 1996 onwards:
Parliament House (Cth)
Search by: Name, Year, Currently in Force:
Parliament of Western Australia (WA)
2RS from 2000 onwards:

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing parliamentary debates (Hansard) using specific databases:

Parliament of Australia (Cth):
Hansard 1901+:
ParlInfo Search (Cth)
Hansard 1901+:
ParlInfo Search (Cth)
Hansard 1901+:
WA Parliament (WA)
1996+:
WA Parliament (WA)
1870 - 1995:
WA Parliament (WA)
1996+:

 

Daily Transcripts - uncorrected Hansard is available about 3 hours after the House rises

Hansard is available in print in the Law Library at GR 328.94102 W527 3

See Finding Second Reading Speeches in Print or Online Guide for more detailed information.

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing the progress of a Bill through Parliament using specific databases:

Lawlex:

Parliament House (ParlInfo) (Cth)
Bills from 1996 onwards:
Parliament of Western Australia (WA)
Bills from 2000 onwards:

Bills Digest provides useful information on the purpose and background of Bills.

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Parliamentary Committee Reports using specific databases:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Committee Reports (Cth):

WA Parliament (WA)
1990+:

Register of Commonwealth Committee Reports - House of Representative and Joint Committee Reports from 1901 to 17 October 2014

Commonwealth Parliamentary Committees - about

Western Australian Parliamentary Committees - about 

​View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing defined terms in legislation using specific databases:

Lexis Advance Pacific:
WestlawAU

General search instructions:

  • select Journals search template
  • search by Act title or number
  • select Journals referring to this Act

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Acts considered in journal articles using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Informit:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:

Use the Research Strategy Template to organise your legal research.

1.  Read a legal encyclopaedia, or journal article, to mine for search terms

2.  Find synonyms for the search terms

3.  Create search strings for searching databases - use Boolean connectors

4.  Follow the Five Steps to Legal Research

5.  Record all resources, including quotations and their page numbers

TIP: Ensure your reference complies with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation rules when you first access the resource - don't leave your referencing to the last minute.  See the Legal Citation Guide for easy citation.

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Sourcing Case Law

You need to know which database to search to find a case.
Otherwise, it's like trying to find Wonder Woman in a Marvel comic.

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases from a citation (e.g. 249 CLR 435).
Note the extra resources supplied when using CaseBase and FirstPoint.

Sourcing Cases:

  • Step 1: Translate the abbreviation of the court reporting service
    into full using Cardiff 
  • Step 2: Search for the full name of the court reporting service
    using Library Search
  • Step 3: Source the court reporting service on the correct database
    (e.g. Lexis Advance or WestlawAU)
    or Library shelves (e.g. All England Law Reports)
Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations
Library Search:
CaseBase:
(Lexis Advance Pacific)
FirstPoint:
(Westlaw AU)

Authorised Report Series quick guide - cite and quote from the authorised reporting series.

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Jade:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:
JustCite (for UK cases):

Learn more in the Case Law Lesson.

Wardens Court for WA mining law disputes 

Famous cases

For famous cases, such as the AAP Case, Engineers Case, Mabo Case, Seas & Submerged Lands Case and the Woollen Underwear Case, start by search legal encyclopaedias and case citators (they are often referred to by their common names):

Cases often asked for:

Associated Minerals Pty Ltd v NSW Rutile Mining Company Pty Ltd [1962] ALR 236; (1961) 35 ALJR 296
A citation often supplied for this case is (1961) 35 ALJR 256

  • The citation is incorrect
  • Volume and ALJR are correct, but the page number is incorrect
  • Search for the case on JADE to find it referred to in another case - this time with the correct page number

Atkins v Egypt Holdings Pty Ltd (unreported, SCWA, 10 July 1987)

  • Lexis Advance  >  Cases Search Template  >  Case Name:  Atkins AND Egypt Holdings  +  Jurisdiction: Western Australia

Crocker Consolidated v Willie [1988] WAR 187

  • Westlaw AU  >  Cases Search Template  >  Citation:  [1988] WAR 187

 

 

General search instructions:

  • select Cases search template
  • search by case name or citation 
  • select Cited by

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases citing cases (judicial consideration) using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Jade:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:

Find more information on : Judicial consideration of cases

General search instructions:

  • select Cases search template
  • select relevant jurisdiction
  • complete the Legislation name and provision text boxes
  • select relevant Court, if required 

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases considering Acts using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Jade:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:

Find more information on : Judicial consideration of legislation

​View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing terms that have been considered in cases (judicial consideration) using specific databases:

Lexis Advance Pacific:
WestlawAU

General search instructions:

  • select Journals search template
  • search by case name or citation 
  • select Journals referring to this case

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases considered in journal articles using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Informit:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing affidavit templates using a specific database:

 

Lexis Advance

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing legal forms using specific databases:

 

Lexis Advance

Lexis Advance

WestlawAU

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Sourcing Articles

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing articles by title using specific databases:

Library Search
Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations: 

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing articles by citation using Library Search and Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations: 

Articles sourced from HeinOnline, Lexis Advance pacific and Westlaw AU are all peer reviewed.

View these step-by-step instructions for checking if a journal peer reviews its articles and searching the Library catalogue for peer reviewed articles:

UlrichsWeb
Library Search:
Library Search
Note: Library Search does not search CCH, Lexis Advance, WestlawAU

General search instructions:

  • select Journals search template
  • search by Act title or number
  • select Journals referring to this Act

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing Acts considered in journal articles using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Informit:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:

General search instructions:

  • select Journals search template
  • search by case name or citation 
  • select Journals referring to this case

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing cases considered in journal articles using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Informit:
LawCite:
Lexis Advance:
Westlaw AU:

General search instructions:

  • select Journals search template
  • search by article title or citation

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing an article considered in journal articles using specific databases:

AustLII:
CCH IntelliConnect:
Informit:
HeinOnline:
Kluwer Law Online:
Lexis Advance:
Thomson Reuters Westlaw:
Westlaw AU:
Google Scholar:

View these step-by-step instructions for sourcing newspaper articles using specific databases:

 

Factiva

ProQuest

Go to Google Scholar.

Click on the 3 lines in the top left of screen.

Select Settings.

Select Library links from the Settings menu. 

Type 'Murdoch' into the search box and click Find Library.

Tick the box next to  .

Save your new settings.

Now when you search for articles in Google Scholar, you will see a link to Murdoch to the right in the Results list if the articles are in our collection.

This will make it easier for you to determine the title of the journal the articles or studies are published in.

You can then search Ulrichsweb to check if it is a peer-review journal.

Select Source Shareable Links/URL to see how to source shareable links/URLs.

Enter your research question

Use the Research Strategy Template to organise your legal research.

1.  Read a legal encyclopaedia, or journal article, to mine for search terms

2.  Find synonyms for the search terms

3.  Create search strings for searching databases - use Boolean connectors

4.  Follow the Five Steps to Legal Research

5.  Record all resources, including quotations and their page numbers

TIP: Ensure your reference complies with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation rules when you first access the resource - don't leave your referencing to the last minute.  
See the Legal Citation Guide for easy citation.

The Library's Assignment Help Guide will assist in planning your assignment.

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