Skip to Main Content

Researching Secondary Law Resources

Guide outline

Searching for secondary law resources

This introductory legal research guide steps through searching legal databases for secondary law sources. Read through the outlines below to learn what is covered in each section of this guide. You can navigate to these sections via the menu on the left.


Finding books: Finding secondary law resources requires researching beyond your prescribed textbook. This section covers how to find other authoritative print books and e-books.

Dictionaries: For any legal research, you need to understand the legal terminology as well as the legal usage of common English language words and some Latin phrases. This section provides information on the most useful legal dictionaries, which are available online and in print format.

Legal Encyclopaedias: After looking at legal definitions, use a legal encyclopaedia to get a more detailed introduction to a legal concept. Legal encyclopaedias provide an overview of particular areas of Australian law, including references to the relevant cases and legislation. This section contains step-by-step instructions on how to search in the two major Australian legal encyclopaedias.

Finding journal articles: Deakin Library provides access to a large number of legal subscription databases containing high quality peer-reviewed law journals. This section provides guidance on using the search planner and step-by-step instructions on how to search in a range of legal databases.

News sources: This section provides a collection of news and media resources.

Law Reform Commission publications: Information on how to find Australian and UK law commission reports and publications.

Citing Secondary Sources: Examples of how to reference secondary law sources using the AGLC4 referencing style.