Note: A new edition of this guide was published on 15 January, 2024 with an additional 3 chapters included at: Legal Research Skills: An Australian Law Guide (2024 Edition).
This guide is designed to support students undertaking legal studies and contribute to developing research skills in Australian law schools.
Legal Research Skills: An Australian Law Guide is organised into four parts:
- Part 1: Research Skills introduces the concept of legal research, identifies the key sources of legal information, and the importance of researching strategically.
- Part 2: Case Law provides an introduction on how to locate cases by citation or topic, and judge a case’s reliability.
- Part 3: Legislation helps students learn about the parliamentary process, how to find legislation and the materials used for statutory interpretation.
- Part 4: Secondary Sources focuses on the role of secondary sources in legal research.
This guide is general in nature and is designed to be institution neutral. The guide is shared under a CC-BY-NC 4.0 licence and can be adopted as is or adapted and localised for specific Australian Universities, law libraries and/or law schools. The 2023 edition of this guide primarily includes examples from the Queensland, Victorian and Commonwealth jurisdictions but it is envisioned that this resource will be updated regularly and expanded to include examples from all other Australian jurisdictions in the future.
This guide is gratefully attributed as being an adaptation of Legal Research Essentials by the University of Queensland Library which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial 4.0 International Licence.
- The University of Queensland
- James Cook University
- The University of Southern Queensland
- Charles Darwin University
- Southern Cross University
- Queensland University of Technology
- Deakin University.