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Legal Citation

Secondary Materials

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Read this guide in conjunction with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

Law Quick Guides

Citing Secondary Materials

Legal materials are divided into two categories:

  • primary materials, which are documents that contain the law, such as cases and legislation; and
  • secondary materials, which are documents about the law, including books, commentaries, journal articles and 'reference materials' such as dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

There is also a special category of document that falls somewhere in between the two called 'extrinsic' materials. Extrinsic materials are documents which can be used in court or in legal analysis to help determine the intention of a piece of legislation. Parliamentary debates (Hansard), Bills, and Law Reform documents are included in the extrinsic materials category.

This topic deals with the requirements for citing secondary materials.

Read through the information here, in conjunction with the rules to which you are referred in the AGLC. Once you have done this you can attempt the self test questions to aid your understanding of this topic.