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Law - Subject Guide

Source Legislation

Source Legislation

Source Act by Title

Legify

Federal Register of Legislation

Western Australian Legislation

Source all
Commonwealth, State and Territory
Acts and Regulations by title

Source Commonwealth Acts And Subsidiary Legislation by:
    Name 
    Number and Year 
    Currently in Force

Links to source
all State and Territory legislation 

Source Western Australian Acts and Subsidiary Legislation by:
    Name
    Number and Year
    Currently in Force

 

Step 1:

Search for Act by title

Tips:
    do not include year 
    do not include jurisdiction

Step 1:

Select > Acts (located in menu to left of screen)

Step 1:

Select > Acts > As passed 
(located in menu to left of screen)

Step 2:

Filter Results by jurisdiction

Step 2:

Select As made

Step 2: 

Select the relevant starting letter of the Act title from the alphabet block

Example: Bail Act 1982

 

Step 3: 

Select the relevant starting letters of the Act title from the alphabet block

Example: Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Act 2008

 

Step 3:

Navigate to Act title

 

Step 4:

Navigate to Act title

Tip:
Change Page size to 100

Tip:

Filter results by a word within the Act title

Step 4:

Click on the Page icon
(located on the far right in the table)

 
Step 5:

Click on the Act title

OR

Click on View Series to view all compilations

Tip:
Ensure you are viewing the latest compilation.
If a superseded compilation opens,
click on View Series,
then select the latest compilation from the list

 

Source Act by Act Number

 

Federal Register of Legislation

Western Australian Legislation

Source Commonwealth Acts And Subsidiary Legislation by:
    Name 
    Number and Year 
    Currently in Force

Source Western Australian Acts and Subsidiary Legislation by:
    Name
    Number and Year
    Currently in Force

 

Step 1:

Select > Acts (located in menu to left of screen)

Step 1:

Select > Acts > As passed 
(located in menu to left of screen)

Step 2:

Select As made

Step 2: 

Select the relevant year of the Act
(given in the citation or Act title) 

 

Example: Bail Act 1982 (Act 86 of 1982)

Step 3: 

Change the Browse option to Year/Number

 

Step 3:

Navigate to Act number

Acts are in number order, starting at Act No. 1 of Year

Step 4:

Select the relevant year
(given in the citation or Act title) 

Example: Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Act 2008 (Act 122 of 2008)

 

Step 4:

Click on the Page icon
(located on the far right in the table)

Step 5:

Navigate to Act number

Acts are in number order, starting at Act No. 1 of Year

To view all versions of a Act, 
click on Versions of the Act,
then select the latest consolidated version from the list

Tip:

Change Page size to 100 if Act number is greater than 50

Tip:

To see the changes made between versions, select Versions of the Act

Select the later version from the table, an open the Compare  (PDF) version

Use the Bookmarks to navigate through the Act to each amendment

Step 6:

Click on the Act title

OR

Click on View Series to view all compilations

Tip:
Ensure you are viewing the latest compilation.
If a superseded compilation opens,
click on View Series,
then select the latest compilation from the list

 

 

Tip:

Select View Series to easily access delegated legislation (Regulations) and Bills

 

Understand an Act

Bill + EM + 2RS (sourced from Hansard) + Reports = Act

 

Commonwealth Act Amendments Western Australian Act Amendments

Step 1:

Source Act using Legify.com.au

Step 1:

Source Act using Legify.com.au

Step 2:

In the TABLE OF CONTENTS pane
scroll down to the very last item
to find the Endnotes
(expand + the last item, if necessary)

Step 2:

Navigate through the Act to the clause

 

 

Step 3:

Expand  + the Endnotes

 

Step 3:

Amendment history is located
immediately below each clause

Note the amendment dates

Step 4:

Select Endnote 4—Amendment history

Step 4:

Return to the list of Versions

Step 5:

Locate section number to find amending/inserting/etc Act/s

Note:  Amending Act is given by number (note Act’s assent date)

Step 5:

Read the Currency start and end dates
Select the version of the Act that contains the amendment date

 

Step 6:

Search for Act by Number to see change/s:

  1. Acts
  2. As made
  3. Year / Number

To find the amendment Ctl + F  [section number or keyword]

Step 6:

From the Compare column, select the PDF version of the Act

 

 

 

Step 7:

To see original wording to compare changes:

  1. Select View Series
  2. Read the Start and End dates for each version
  3. Select version of Act prior to change (prior to amending Act's assent date)

Step 7:

Use the Bookmarks to quickly navigate to the section to see the change in wording

 

 

 

To understand why the amendment was made, source the amending Act's 

Explanatory Memorandum (attached to the Bill)
Second Reading Speech

 

 

​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:
 

 

Commonwealth Acts Western Australian Acts

Step 1:

Source Act on Federal Register of Legislation

Tip: use Legify

Step 1:

Source Act on Western Australian Legislation

Tip: use Legify

 

Step 2:

Select the View Series link in the Details pane
located to the left of screen

Step 2:

Select Versions of this Act
(includes consolidations, Reprints and “As passed” versions)

Step 3:

Check the Start and End dates each version was in force between

Step 3:

Select Consolidated Versions

 

Step 4:

Select the version relevant to specific time period

Step 4:

Check the Start and End dates each version was in force between

Note:
Superseded Version in Details pane of versions no longer in force

 

Tip:
Choose the Compare PDF version
Use the Bookmarks to navigate through amendments

 

General search instructions:

  • select Cases search or Advanced Search in a database
  • select relevant jurisdiction
  • complete the Legislation name and provision text boxes
  • select relevant Court, if required 

 

AustLII

Jade

Lexis Advance

Westlaw Australia

Option 1: LawCite

1. Select LawCite (located at the far right on the red band)

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1. Select Jade Browser tab

Select Legislation Collection

Select By legislature

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Option 1: Quick Find: Legislation

Select the Legislation tab

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Option 1: Global Search:

1. Search by Act title and section number in the global search box

Example:
Legal Profession Act 2008 282

WAIT

 

2. Complete Legislation Considered fields

Tip: Do not include a designation abbreviation - just the number)

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_________________________

2. Select Western Australian Legislation - Acts (WALegAct)

Navigate to the relevant Act:

Select Le

Select Legal Profession Act 2008

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2. Complete Legislation Title and Provision Number fields

Tip: Do not include a designation abbreviation - just the number

2. From the drop down suggestions, select the linked section title 

Option 2: NoteUp

1. Select the relevant jurisdiction from the black ribbon on the AustLII home page

Example: WA

3. Navigate to relevant section

Select section title

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3. From the Results list, select the hyperlinked section title

 

3. From the  Citing References tab, select Cases

_________________________

2. Type the Act title and section number (number only) in the search box (located at the top right of screen)

Example: 
Legal Profession Act 2008 282

4. Select relevant citations

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4. Select the View Legislation Citator link (located to the right of the section title)

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_________________________

Option 2: Global Search:

1. Search by Act title in double inverted commas and section number to be within 10 words of Act title

e.g. 
"Legal Profession Act 2008" /10 282

3. Select the magnifying glass Search icon

Tip: Sign up for Jade Professional using your Murdoch student email address @student.murdoch.edu.au

(it is free)

Option 2: Cases Advanced Search:

1. Select  Advanced Search - Cases

2. Select Cases

Option 1: Select View All Cases

Option 2: Select Cases from the Content types menu

4. Select the hyperlinked Act and Section from the Results list

from the Western Australian Current Acts database

 

2. Complete Legislation Title and Provision Number fields

Tip: Do not include a designation abbreviation - just the number)undefined

_________________________

Option 3: Advanced Search

1. Select  Content type - Cases

5. Select NoteUp References from the menu on the right of screen    

2. Select Advanced Search

6. Sort Results By Database to easily identify cases    

3. Complete Legislation Cited (Title) and Legislation Cited (Provision) fields

Tip: Do not include a designation abbreviation
- just the number

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_________________________

AustLII

Informit including AGIS Plus Text

Lexis Advance

Westlaw Australia

Option 1: LawCite:

Step 1:

Select LawCite
located at the end of the red stripe

Step 1:

Search by Act title in double inverted commas and jurisdiction

e.g. 
"Legal Profession Act" AND (Western OR WA)

 

Tip:
check the box for  Full text only
only add the provision number - not s, p, etc

Step 1:

Select drop-down arrow beside Advanced Search
Select Secondary Materials

 

Step 1:

Search by Act title in double inverted commas and section number to be within 10 words of Act title

e.g. 
"Legal Profession Act 2008" /10 282

Step 2:

Add the Act title in Legislation Considered:

Add the provision number in Section

Tips:
omit the Act year
only add the provision number - not s, p, etc

Step 2:

Select Search

Step 2:

Navigate down to Legislation Title and Provision Number

 

Step 2:

Select Search

Step 3:

Select Search

 

Step 3:

Add the term

Tip:
select Act title from suggestions
only add the provision number - not s, p, etc

Step 3:

From the Results page:

Option 1: Select View All Secondary Sources

Option 2: Select Secondary Sources from the Content types menu

Step 4:

Select
Law Journal Articles matching this search 
located at end of menu below LawCite logo

 

Step 4:

Select Search

Step 4:

From the Filter menu on the left of screen,
expand Publication type

Select Law Reviews & Journals

 

Option 2: Database Search

1. Select Journals & Scholarship from the red ribbon

 

Step 5:

Narrow results by using filters
located to the left of screen

 

 

2. Add the Act title within double inverted commas to the search box (located in the top right corner)

e.g. 
"Legal Profession Act 2008" 

     
3. Click on the magnifying icon to Search      
4. Results can be sorted:
     By Relevance
     By Citation Frequency
     By Database
     By Date
     By Title
     
   

 

 

 

Commonwealth Bills (1996+) Western Australian Bills (1997+)

Step 1:

Select ParlInfo on Parliament of Australia

 

Step 1:

Select Bills from the Parliamentary Business drop-down menu on Parliament of Western Australia

Step 2:

Select Guided Search tab

Step 2:

Select the Bill from the A-Z list

Step 3:

Select Documents relating to a Bill

Other Source:

AustLII
(but not recommended, as this is not an authorised source)

Step 4:

Enter Bill title (subject words only)

Include date range if relevant

 

Step 5:

Select the relevant Bill from the results List

 

Step 6:

Select the link to the Bill home page

 

Tip:

Select the link to the Bills Digest

Bills Digest gives summary, purpose, background and impact of Bill

(view in PDF format for live links)

 

Other Sources:

Federal Register of Legislation - Bills and Explanatory Memoranda

AustLII - Browse by year or title

 
   
Commonwealth Bills (pre-1996) Western Australian Bills (pre-1997)

Print:

Law Library: Stack 24

Australian Parliament. House of representatives & Senate.
Bills & Explanatory Memoranda

Geoffrey Bolton Library South Wing Level 3 R 348.9401 AUS  

Print:

Law Library: Stack 38

Western Australian Parliament
Bills Introduced to the Legislative Assembly

Geoffrey Bolton Library South Wing Level 3 R  348.94101 W527 1 

 

Online:

Look in Hansard

Online:

Look in Hansard

Understand an Act

Bill + EM + 2RS + Reports = Act

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.

Lexis Advance

Westlaw Australia

Step 1:

Select drop-down arrow beside Advanced Search
Select Legislation

Step 1:

Select  Content type - Legislation

Step 2:

Navigate down to Defined Terms

Step 2:

Select Advanced Search

Step 3:

Add the term

Step 3:

Navigate down to Defined Terms

Step 4:

Select Search

Step 4:

Add the term

Step 5:

Narrow results by using filters
located to the left of screen

Alternatively:

Browse Results looking at Content and Jurisdiction
located to the right of each result

Step 5:

Select Search

 

Step 6:

Narrow results by using filters
located to the left of screen

Alternatively

Select the highlighted hyperlink in the legislation results
to go directly to the section in the document.

   

Option 2: Quick Search

Step 1:

Select Defined Terms tab

Option 2: General Search

Step 1:

In the search box on the home page, type

(character! OR compris! OR defin! OR describ! OR discuss! OR element! OR expla! OR interpret! OR mean! OR phras!) /15 SearchWord

Step 2:

Select the radio button for Legislative Definitions

Step 2:

From the Results page,
select Legislation from the Content types menu on the left of screen

OR

View All beside the Legislation group

Step 3:

Add search term/s

 

 

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

Lexis Advance Pacific:

Regulations, Rules, Determinations, etc by title:
Legify.com.au

Commonwealth Regulations, Rules, Determinations, etc from the Federal Register of Legislation by:
Name 
Number and Year 
Currently in Force

Western Australian Regulations, Rules, Determinations, etc from Western Australian Legislation by:
Name
Number and Year
Currently in Force
Commencement Date

Note: if you are already on the Western Australian Legislation page for a WA Act, select the link to Subsidiary legislation made under this Act(current versions)

All State and Territory legislation can be accessed from the Federal Register of Legislation

 

Legify

Federal Register of Legislation

Western Australian Legislation

Source all
Commonwealth, State and Territory
Acts and Regulations by title

Source Commonwealth Acts And Subsidiary Legislation by:
    Name 
    Number and Year 
    Currently in Force

Links to source
all State and Territory legislation 

Source Western Australian Acts and Subsidiary Legislation by:
    Name
    Number and Year
    Currently in Force

 

Step 1:

Search for Regulation by title

Tips:
    do not include the word Regulation
    do not include year 
    do not include jurisdiction

Step 1:

Select > Legislative Instruments (located in menu to left of screen)

Option 1:

Step 1:

Select > Acts > As passed 
(located in menu to left of screen)

Step 2:

Filter Results by jurisdiction

Step 2:

Select As made

Step 2

Select the relevant starting letter of the Act title from the alphabet block

Example: Bail Act 1982

Step 3:

Select the link to Regulations from the Results list

Step 3: Option 1: Browse Legislative Instruments Title

Step 3.O1.1

Select the relevant starting letters of the Regulations title from the alphabet block

Example: Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Regulations 2020 (F2020L00169)

 

Step 3

Navigate to Act title

 

Step 3.O1.2:

Navigate to Regulation title

Tip:
Change Page size to 100

Tip:

Filter results by a word within the Regulation title

Step 4

Click on the Page icon
(located on the far right in the table)

 

Step 3.O1.3:

Click on the Regulation title

OR

Click on View Series to view all compilations

Tip:
Ensure you are viewing the latest compilation that is currently in force.
If a superseded regulation opens,
click on View Series,
then select the latest from the list

Step 5:

Select
Subsidiary legislation made under this Act

 
Step 3: Option 2: Browse Legislative Instruments Registration date

Step 3.O2.1

Change the Browse option to Year/Number

Option 2:

Step 1:

Select > Subsidiary Legislation > In force and ceased
(located in menu to left of screen)

 

Step 3.O2.2

Select the relevant year
(given in the citation or Regulation title) 

Example: Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Regulations 2020 (F2020L00169)

Step 2:

Select the relevant title or year of the Regulation
(given in the citation or Act title) 

 

Example: Bail Amendment Regulations 2020 (SL 2020/235)

 

Step 3.O1.3:

Navigate to Regulation using instrument number

Note:
Instruments are listed in reverse numerical order

Tips:
Change Page size to 100

Filter results by a word within the Act title

Step 2.O2.3:

Navigate to Regulation title or number

 

Step 3.O1.4:

Click on the Act title

OR

Click on View Series to view all compilations

Tip:
Ensure you are viewing the latest compilation.
If a superseded compilation opens,
click on View Series,
then select the latest compilation from the list

Step 2.O2.3:

Click on the Page icon
(located on the far right in the table)

 

Tip:

Select from the top menu to easily access extrinsic materials

 

 

 

 

Understand an Act

Bill + EM + 2RS (sourced from Hansard) + Reports = Act

 

Commonwealth Explanatory Memoranda (1996+) Commonwealth Explanatory Memoranda (1901+) Western Australian Explanatory Memoranda (2000+)

Step 1:

Source Bill on Parliament of Australia

Instructions for Source Blls

Step 1:

Source Bill on Federal Register of Legislation

 

Select > Bills (located in menu to left of screen)

Step 1:

Source Bill on Parliament of Western Australia

Step 2:

Select the Bill from the Browse list

Step 2:

Select As introduced A-Z

Step 2:

Select the Bill from the Browse list

Step 3:

Navigate down the Bills page to access the EM

Step 3:

Source the Bill by Title or Year

Example: Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Bill 2008

Step 3:

Navigate down the Bills page to access the EM

 

Step 4:

Select Explanatory Memorandum from the top menu in the light blue ribbon

 

 

Option 2:

Step 1:

Use Legify to source the Act from the Federal Register of Legislation

 

 
 

Step 2:

Select View Series

 
 

Step 3:

Select Related Bills

 
 

Step 4:

Select the Bill from the list

 
 

Step 5:

Select Explanatory Memorandum from the top menu in the light blue ribbon

 

Note:

Commonwealth:

Since 1982, Explanatory Memoranda have been standard practice for Bills.

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

In addition to the Parliament House website or Federal Register of Legislation, EMs can be sourced from AustLII.

 

Western Australia:  

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

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

Understand an Act

Bill + EM + 2RS + Reports = Act

Commonwealth Government Gazette - Federal Register of Legislation - 2012+

Commonwealth Government Gazette - Trove - pre-2012

From Trove's Advanced Search

  1. select Newspaper and Gazettes from the drop-down menu
  2. add search words
  3. from the Type box, select Gazette from the menu
  4. from the Article category box, select Government Gazette Proclamations and Legislation

Western Australian Government Gazette - Western Australian Legislation

Tip: conduct a general Internet search for WA Government Gazette articles on a topic
eg  site:legislation.wa.gov.au "Western Australian Government Gazette" housing eligibility

 

Commonwealth Hansard Western Australian Hansard (August 2000+) Western Australian Hansard (1870 - June 2000)

Step 1:

Access Hansard on Parliament of Australia

Step 1:

Access Hansard on Parliament of Western Australia

Step 1:

Access Hansard on Parliament of Western Australia

Step 2:

Scroll down screen to Search Hansard

 

 

Step 2:

Select 

Advanced search (August 2000 until present)

 

Step 2:

Select

Hansard archive (1870 - June 2000)

 

Step 3:

Select More options to expand search
Uncheck Hansard title only

Step 3:

Check the box for Detailed Word and Phrase Searching

Step 3:

Select Advanced search
(located on the right of screen)

Step 4:

Add the details you know 

Tip: use the From & To calendar dates

Step 4:

Add the details you know 

Step 4:

Add the details you know 

Step 5:

Select Search

Step 5:

Select Search

Step 5:

Select Search

 

 

Understand an Act

Bill + EM + 2RS (sourced from Hansard) + Reports = Act

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+:

 

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.

International Law Reform

Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry

Commentary includes case law and expert's interpretation of legislation

 

AustLII

CCH IntelliConnect

Lexis Advance

Westlaw Australia

1. Select LawCite (located at the far right on the red band)

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1. Add the legislation title and section number to the search box

Tip: Enclose the legislation title in double inverted commas

"Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreements Act 1985"

 

 

 

1. Select  Advanced Search - Secondary Materials

 

 

1. Search by Act title in double inverted commas and section number to be within 10 words of Act title

e.g. 
"Legal Profession Act 2008" /10 282

 

 

2. Complete Legislation Title and Provision Number fields

Tip: Do not include a designation abbreviation - just the number)

2. Narrow Results

by Document Type

CCH Commentary

 

2. Complete References to Legislation by Title and References to Legislation by Provision Number fields

Tip: Do not include a designation abbreviation - just the number)

2. From the Results page:

Select Secondary Sources from the Content types menu

 

 

 

3. Narrow the search Results by Content Type > Commentary

_________________________

3. Filter the Results by
Publication Type > Commentary
located on left of screen

 

 

 

Option 2: Quick Find: LawNow

1. Select Legislation

2. Complete Legislation Title and Provision Number fields

Tip: Do not include a designation abbreviation - just the number)

 
   

2. Select the relevant Result

3. Select the View Legislation Citator link (located to the right of the section title)

 
   

4. Navigate to Secondary Materials

_________________________

 

 

Abbreviation key

ad = added or inserted

o = order(s)

am = amended

Ord = Ordinance

amdt = amendment

orig = original

c = clause(s)

par = paragraph(s)/subparagraph(s)/sub-subparagraph(s)

C[x] = Compilation No. x

pres = present

Ch = Chapter(s)

prev = previous

def = definition(s)

(prev ... ) = previously

Dict = Dictionary

Pt = Part(s)

disallowed = disallowed by Parliament

r = regulation(s)/rule(s)

Div = Division(s)

reloc = relocated

ed = editorial change

renum = renumbered

exp = expires/expired or ceases/ceased to have effect

rep = repealed

F = Federal Register of Legislation

rs = repealed and substituted

gaz = gazette

s = section(s)/subsection(s)

LA = Legislation Act 2003

Sch = Schedule(s)

LIA = Legislative Instruments Act 2003

Sdiv = Subdivision(s)

(md) = misdescribed amendment can be given  effect

SLI = Select Legislative Instrument

(md not incorp) = misdescribed amendment cannot be given effect

SR = Statutory Rules

mod = modified/modification

Sub-Ch = Sub-Chapter(s)

No. = Number(s)

SubPt = Subpart(s)

 

underlining = whole or part not commenced or to be commenced

 

   

Source: Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) Endnote 2—Abbreviation key

Commonwealth Committee Reports (1970+) Western Australian Committee Reports (1997+)

Step 1:

Access the Committees page on Parliament of Australia

Step 1:

Access the Committees page on  Parliament of Western Australia

Step 2:

Select More options immediately below the Search box

Step 2:

Select Advanced search
located to the right of screen

Step 3:

Add the details you know 

Step 3:

Add the details you know 

Alternatively:

Select from the All committees menu,
located to the right of screen

Step 4:

Select Search

Step 4:

Select Search

Step 5:

Select Report from the About this inquiry menu,
located to the right of screen

Step 5:

Select Report tab

 

Understand an Act

Bill + EM + 2RS + Reports = Act

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 

Commonwealth Committee Reports (1970+) Western Australian Committee Reports (1997+)

Step 1:

Access the Committees page on Parliament of Australia

Step 1:

Access the Committees page on  Parliament of Western Australia

Step 2:

Select More options immediately below the Search box

Step 2:

Select Advanced search
located to the right of screen

Step 3:

Add the details you know 

Step 3:

Add the details you know 

Alternatively:

Select from the All committees menu,
located to the right of screen

Step 4:

Select Search

Step 4:

Select Search

Step 5:

Select Report from the About this inquiry menu,
located to the right of screen

Step 5:

Select Report tab

 

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

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.

Understand an Act

Bill + EM + 2RS + Reports = Act

Migration Policy in Australia

Both the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, have produced policies and procedures about how they would like the decision maker (Department staff) to interpret and apply the law.
This is because the law is quite complex and can change frequently.
Not all terms are defined precisely in the Act and Regulations so there can be real uncertainly in application – policy is supposed to provide that consistency.

Ministerial Directions

Section 499 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) permits the minister to formulate “written directions to a person or body having functions or powers under [the] Act if the directions are about … the performance of those functions ... or the exercise of those powers”.
There are several Directions in force and they relate to diverse matters such as:

  • assessing a genuine visit for visitor visa purposes (Direction No 36);
  • Order of Consideration of applications for sponsorship, nomination and visas under the Skill Stream of the Migration Program and the Temporary Residence Program (Direction No 35); and
  • visa cancellation and refusal on character grounds (Direction No 21).

Decision makers are obliged to comply with a direction made under this section provided such Directions are not inconsistent with the provisions of the Act or the Regulations.

Department Policy and Procedures

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection produces its own detailed policy material to assist delegates.
The Procedures Advice Manual (PAM) runs to several volumes and is regularly updated.
The latest version is PAM3.  In addition to PAM, the Migration Series Instructions (MSIs) provide commentary on specific aspects of the legislative scheme and are used by delegates in the decision-making process.

Policy is not legally binding on the Minister, Department of Immigration and Border Protection decision makers, or a tribunal member, but it is generally followed unless the policy itself is inconsistent with the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) or the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth), or its application would cause an injustice in a particular case.

Research Resources

The preferred service by most Migration Agents is LEGENDcom which has a very sensitive login system - so ensure you are careful when entering your password details.
There are only 3 incorrect attempts allowed and then all Murdoch staff and students are barred from using the database until library staff can get into contact with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to authorise a new password.
If a lock out occurs on a Friday afternoon it will not be unlocked until the following Monday (or Tuesday if it is a public holiday).
So be careful!

Once your course finishes you will no longer have access to LEGENDcom.
The password will have been changed and if you attempt to login after the course is finished you will lock out the new group of students who are studying the course.
Do not attempt to use the Murdoch University access to LEGENDcom after the course is complete.

The Murdoch University Law Library provides alternate access to the content through Lexis Advance.
This database operates on a different subscription system to which Murdoch students have access.
Familiarise yourself with both databases, so that, if you are experiencing access issues (WHICH DOES HAPPEN), you can easily switch to the alternative database.

PAM3

 

 

LEGENDcom

Lexis Advance

LEGENDcom content
  • migration and citizenship legislation and policy documents
  • Migration Act 1958 and Migration Regulations 1994 (from 1 September 1994)
  • other migration legislation
  • policy documents
  • legislative and non-legislative instruments
  • Gazette notices

Browsing

Step 1: Log on to Lexis Advance

Step 2: Select the Browse drop-down arrow

Step 3: Select Publications   >   Australia   >   By Content Type   >   AU Secondary Materials

Step 4: From the alphabet, select P

Step 5: Scroll down to Procedures Advice Manual and Immigration Legislation

Step 6: Click on the Table of Contents link

Step 4: Either Search PAM3, or Browse by clicking on the + to expand the document tree to view PAM3 headings

Note: Most policy documents in Lexis Advance are not linked to the full text, unlike LEGENDcom.

Features

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hyperlinked information
- related legislation and policy documents are linked to each other
  (Federal Register of Legislation does not have hyperlinks)

pop-up information boxes
- give value-added information with explanations, background and links to related information

   undefined

 

Searching

Step 1: Log on to Lexis Advance and locate the Publications list on the right-hand side of the page.

Step 2: From the bottom of this list, select View all publications.

Step 3: Locate the Australian Immigration Law commentary from the list of publications and then select Table of Contents.

Step 4: You will be taken to a table of contents page. Lexis Advance will automatically search all content within this commentary unless you choose to select specific parts of the source (i.e. just select the PAM3 headings) by clicking on the magnifying glass symbol next to the relevant heading.

Step 5: Enter your search terms in the search box at the top of the screen and search.

Note: if you are searching for a material discussing "powers to detain" make sure to use quotation marks around the phrase when you are searching for it.

If you have limited your search by selecting specific headings within Australian Immigration Law and cannot find an answer to your question, go back and repeat the search without the specific headings.

 

LEGENDcom Access

1. Click on the database link to LEGENDcom
    You can find this link on the Law Subject Guide home page.

Form Searching

You can also use the Advanced Search form in Lexis Advance to search for policy documents.
From the Lexis Advance homepage, select Advanced Search and then Secondary Materials.
Fill in the search forms available, using different fields to limit your search.
Once you have reached the results page for your search, limit the results by publication, selecting Australian Immigration Law from the available list of publications.

2.Select LEGENDcom undefined

Lexis Advance Tutorials

You can access tutorials for using the Lexis Advance database at anytime from the Help tab at the top of the screen on the right-hand side.
Useful information is also available from the Database User Guides page.

3. From the Password table, remember the Username, and copy the password (Ctrl +C)

Warning: LEGENDcom has a very sensitive login system - so ensure you are careful when entering your password details.

There are only 3 incorrect attempts allowed and then all Murdoch staff and students are barred from using the LEGENDcom
until library staff contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to authorise a new password.
If a lock out occurs on a Friday afternoon it will not be unlocked until the following Monday (or Tuesday if it is a public holiday).
So be careful!

 
4. Click on Connect  undefined  
5. Type in the Username; Paste (Ctrl +V) in the Password  
6. Click on Login       undefined  
7. Accept the Terms and Conditions  
8. Click on Continue  undefined  

LEGENDcom Sign out

Be sure to Sign out at the end of your LEGENDcom session

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LEGENDcom Help

Scroll to the bottom of LEGENDcom home page to access Training material

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Select a User Guide from the list, or watch a video explaining how to use LEGENDcom

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LEGENDcom Navigation

You can Browse or Search content on LEGENDcom

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LEGENDcom Search

Search is available from the LEGENDcom home page.

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Type Search terms, separated by  " AND "

Example:   100" AND "partner

Insert the date range relevant to your query.
The Search will then retrieve stacks from this date range.
The legislation and policy is sorted into stacks. Each stack contains the complete set of legislation and policy that was in effect for the specified date range.

Leave the date at the default date if you want the latest content.

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Search Results can be filtered by Topic: Migration   Citizenship   Customs   Updates   Amendments

Search Results can also be filtered by Folder Type or Category Type

Select Policy and Operational documents to access PAM content

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Search terms are highlighted in the Search Results list 

Select a relevant Search Result from the list to access a document

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Document includes policy, instructions and links to related PAM chapters

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LEGENDcom Browse - Policy 

You can Browse through the Policy content, if you know which Schedule you are seeking more information on.

Select the LATEST MIGRATION POLICY tile from the LEGENDcom home page to access policy documents (PAM).

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Expand the relevant Policy topic

Example: POLICY - MIGRATION REGULATIONS - SCHEDULES - Sch2 Visa 100 - Partner

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The Policy document includes instructions for applying the Policy as well as related PAM chapters.
(Don't forget to use the pop-up feature for value-added information with explanations, background and links to related information.)

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LEGENDcom Browse - Regulations 

You can Browse through the Regulations to see these, as well as related policy content, if you know which Subclass you are seeking more information on.

Select the LATEST MIGRATION REGULATIONS tile from the LEGENDcom home page.

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Expand the relevant Regulation

Example: MIGRATION REGULATIONS - SCHEDULE 2 - Subclass 100 - Partner

undefined

The Regulation includes a pop-up link (for value-added information with explanations, background and links to related information) as well as a link to policy (PAM chapters).
undefined

Example pop-up pane:

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Second Reading Speeches are recorded in Hansard.

Source early Second Readings Speeches directly from Hansard.

Commonwealth Second Reading Speeches (1996+) Western Australian Second Reading Speeches (2000+)

Step 1:

Source Bill on Parliament of Australia

Instructions for Source Bills

Step 1:

Source Bill on Parliament of Western Australia

Step 2:

Select the Bill from the Results list

Step 2:

Select the Bill from the list

Step 3:

Select the link to the Bill home page
located to the left of screen
located above the Table of Contents menu

Step 3:

Navigate down the Bills Home Page to access
the Second Reading Speech

Step 4:

Navigate down the Bills Home Page to access
the Second Reading Speech

No link?

Record the Second Reading Speech date, and source from Hansard

 

 

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:

Understand an Act

Bill + EM + 2RS (sourced from Hansard) + Reports = Act

 

Search

Browse

From the AustLII Australian Treaties Library page, you can enter search terms and search within just this collection within AustLII.

For instance, if you were looking for a list of treaties dealing with refugees and persecution you might type the search:

refugee*  w/50 persecution 

(this is a Boolean search where the first term is found within 50 words of the second term. The * is a 'truncator' which allows both the words refugee and refugees to be retrieved)

Enter this search into the search box on the Australian Treaties Library page.
Search only within the Australian Treaties Series.

At this point you can open the Australian Treaty Series (ATS) and drill down to a treaty by clicking through the relevant years.
You can use the options on the left hand side of the screen to browse:

  • by subject - note the heading for Citizenship and Migration;
  • by country; or
  • by short title

Take a look at the results.
One of the treaties you should have found is the Agreement relating to Refugee Seamen [1973] ATS 17.
Open this document.

Have a look at the information at the top of the document.

You will see

  • The Australian Treaty Series number
    • The citation form is
      [date] || series || number
      i.e. [1973] ATS 17
  • When the treaty was initially accepted by the UN
  • Entry into force generally
  • Entry into force for Australia
    • This is the date it was ratified by the Australian Government
  • The full text of the treaty
  • At the end of the treaty you will see additional information about the ratification and when the instrument of accession was deposited for Australia with the UN.
 
 

 

State Agreements are contracts between the Government of Western Australia and proponents of major resource projects which are ratified by an Act of the State Parliament. 

They specify the rights, obligations, terms and conditions for development of the project, and establish a framework for ongoing relations and cooperation between the State and the project proponent.

The Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation administers State Agreement Acts on behalf of the Government of Western Australia.

As part of this responsibility, the Department also negotiates new agreements, variations, terminations and repeals of State Agreement Acts as required. 

For more information on State Agreements and State Agreement Acts see the State Agreements website.

Tip: Use Legify to access specific Agreement Acts

Australian Legislation and Delegated Legislation

Each State or Territory Parliament has authorised publishers for their legislation and delegated legislation.

Australia's Territories

Cocos (Keeling) Island legislation - a list of Western Australian Acts that is tabled biannually in the Senate that adds onto the full list of Acts that apply to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Legify - a quick way of locating the authoritative version of Australian legislation.

Federal Register of Legislation - provides links to authoritative sources for state and territory legislation.

Australian Government Online Directory (GOLD) provides a wide variety of information about Australian Government Parliaments, bodies, agencies and departments.

Commentary of Australia's laws can be sourced from:

Australian Explanatory Memoranda

GovPubs: the Australian Government Publications Guide - source explanatory memoranda for all Australian jurisdictions.

International Jurisdictions

 

Multijurisdictional Databases

 

New Zealand

 

United Kingdom

  • HeinOnline - Statutes of the Realm (1235-1713)
  • ICLR - the best legal database for sourcing authorised law reports of cases from the United Kingdom
  • Legislation.gov.uk provides legislation information for UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • UK Legal Info - LawBore

 

United States

Treaties

Treaties are a primary source of international law.

International Organisations

There are a number of valuable resources for international legislation research that are found on the websites of international organisations.

These include:

Legal information Institutes: