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Researching Legislation

Introduction to Legislation

Legislation takes two main forms:

  • Statutes or Acts made by Parliament (known as 'Acts of Parliament')
  • Delegated or subordinate legislation (including statutory rules, regulations or by-laws) made by office-holders or bodies to which parliament has delegated law-making power. 

Legislation is sourced from Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, and can usually be found online. These versions are the official version. Various publishers reproduce legislation or provide links to the official government version.

Always check the currency of the legislation you are referring to.

Sources of Legislation

The following Commonwealth, State and Territory government sites contain the official versions of each jurisdiction's legislation.

LawNow via Lexis Advance - search legislation, cases and commentary, from one site. Covers all Australian jurisdictions and includes Australia’s largest collection of historical legislation.

Lawlex Legislation from all Australian jurisdictions.  Guest access only.
AustLII Primary and secondary legal material from all Australian jurisdictions. Open access.

Legify This website helps you find the authoritative version of almost 14,000 Australian Acts and Regulations, instantly and direct from the legislative publishers of the Commonwealth, States and Territories. Open access.
WorldLII Primary and secondary legal materials from AustLII; BAILII; CanLII; HKLII; LII (Cornell); and PacLII. Open access.

Legislation - Publisher Sites

CCH IntelliConnect
Selected reproduced legislation, often containing annotations and commentary. Licensing and Resource Information 

Open a Library: 

Open the Act and click on the section:

Text of section and commentary on right hand side of screen:

LawNow via Lexis Advance
Australian reproduced legislation with links to government sites. Includes a citator to sections of Acts:

Westlaw AU
Selected reproduced legislation, often containing annotations and commentary. Licensing and Resource Information

Other useful guides...

These guides have been designed to assist you with accessing a range of resources within the Deakin University Library, and developing your legal research skills.