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Guide to Online Legal Research

Key databases for finding legislation

The Library provides access to a range of specialised databases which you can use to find legislation. The following will be useful for finding legislation on your legal topics:

Finding legislation on a topic

  1. Go to AustLII.
  2. Click on the link to Advanced Search (under the drop down arrow next to the search box).
  3. Select a search method by clicking on the relevant tab, i.e. Boolean Query.
  4. In the Enter your search box, enter keyword/s or phrase.
  5. In the Select the database(s) to search..., click on Show all (to show all databases in the list).
  6. All databases are selected by default, so first deselect all databases by clicking on the arrow at the top of the list.
  7. Scroll through and select the relevant option from the list, i.e. New South Wales: All Legislation.
  8. Click on Advanced Search.
  1. Go to CCH IntelliConnect.
  2. Enter your search terms in the Search box.
  3. In the Search/Browse drop down list, select all content (the default option).
  4. Click on Go.
  5. A list of search results will be displayed in the right hand pane.
  6. To narrow the search results to legislation only, click on the + icon next to the heading by Document Type.
  7. A list of document types will be displayed in the left pane.
  8. From this list select Legislation by clicking on the Legislation heading. The list of legislation will be displayed in the right hand pane.

OR alternatively, search within a specific topic area:

  1. Go to CCH IntelliConnect.
  2. A list of practice areas will be displayed in the left hand frame.
  3. Click on the + icon next to the practice area heading (i.e. Family Law).
  4. A list of titles will be displayed below the practice area heading.
  5. Click in the box next to the relevant Legislation title.
  6. Enter search terms in the Search box. The search scope box will automatically change to selected content.
  7. Click on Go.
  1. Go to LawOne.
  2. Click on the Browse link in the LawOne toolbar.
  3. Click on the link to the relevant jurisdiction, i.e. CTH (Commonwealth).
  4. Click on link to By Subject Area (Current).
  5. Click on the link to the relevant subject area in the left pane.
  6. A list of legislative instruments in the chosen subject area will be displayed.

Note: You can also click on the + sign next to the main Subject to select a more specific area from the sub headings.

OR alternatively, for a more specific topic search:

  1. Go to LawOne.
  2. Click on Search at the top of the page and then select Go to Advanced mode (to the top right of the page)
  3. Enter keyword/s or phrase in the Search terms box.
  4. Select search type by checking the relevant radio button, i.e. Exact phrase.
  5. Restrict search to a section of the legislation if required, i.e. Titles.
  6. Select Jurisdiction/s, Type of legislation and Status by clicking on available options (a check tick will appear next to selections).
  7. Select Subject by clicking on the drop down list and then click on relevant subject heading. Alternatively, to select a more specific subject area, click on the + sign next to the main Subject and then select a specific area from sub headings.
  8. Click on Search.

Please go to the database Lexis Advance Pacific to access this title. Instructions on how to use this title will be updated ASAP.

Finding/updating legislation by name

  1. Go to AustLII.
  2. Click on the link to the relevant jurisdiction at the top of the page, i.e. CTH (Commonwealth).
  3. Click on the link to Cth Legislation (at the top of the page).
  4. Click on the relevant link, i.e. Commonwealth Consolidated Acts.
  5. Click on the relevant alphabetical link, and then scroll through the list of legislation.
  6. Click on link to the relevant Act.
  7. Click on NoteUp references (under Cited By to the left of the page) to check currency of the Act/Regulation.

Please go to the database Lexis Advance Pacific to access this title. Instructions on how to use LawNow can be found in this video

  1. Go to LawOne.
  2. Click on the Browse link in the LawOne toolbar.
  3. Click on the link to the relevant jurisdiction, i.e. CTH (Commonwealth).
  4. Click on link to the relevant legislation category, i.e. Acts (Current).
  5. Click on the relevant letter in the Starts with: alphabetical list, and then select the required Act from the list.
  6. Click on the i Key Info button to the top right of the Act name to see important details about the Act including currency, links to legislative history, amending legislation and explanatory memorandum.
  1. Go to Legify.
  2. Begin typing the title of the Act/Regulation.
  3. A list of possible matches will be displayed.
  4. Select the relevant entry from the list.
  5. You will be taken to the full text of the Act/Regulation available from the official legislation website.

Finding cases that have judicially considered legislation

  1. Go to AustLII.
  2. Click on the link to Advanced Search (under the drop down arrow next to the search box).
  3. Select a search method by clicking on the relevant tab, i.e. Document Title.
  4. In the Enter your search box, enter the name of the legislation (Act/Regulation/Rule).
  5. In the Select the database(s) to search..., click on Show all (to show all databases in the list).
  6. All databases are selected by default, so first deselect all databases by clicking on the arrow at the top of the list.
  7. Scroll through and select the relevant option from the list, i.e. New South Wales: All Legislation.
  8. Click on Advanced Search.
  9. Select the relevant legislation from the displayed list.
  10. Navigate to the relevant section of the legislation.
  11. When the full text of the section is displayed, click on the link to NoteUp references (to the right of the page under Cited By).
  12. A list of cases that have judicially considered the section of legislation should be displayed.

Please go to the database Lexis Advance Pacific to access this title. 

  1. Go to Lexis Advance Research.
  2. Click on CaseBase Cases under the Publications list.
  3. Click on Go to Advanced Search.
  4. You will be taken to the CaseBase search form.
  5. In the Legislation Title box, enter the name of the legislative instrument (Act/Regulation).
  6. In the Provision Number box, enter the relevant section number of the legislative instrument (Act/Regulation).
  7. Select Jurisdiction if required.
  8. Click on Search.
  9. A list of cases that have judicially considered/referred to the provision will be displayed.

Alternatively, try the general search demonstrated in the video below.

  1. Go to Westlaw AU.
  2. Click on FirstPoint under Search Templates.
  3. You will be taken to the FirstPoint search form.
  4. In the Legislation Cited (Title) search box, enter the name of the Act or Regulation, and year if known, e.g. "crimes act 1900".
  5. You can refine the search by including the section number in the Legislation Cited (Provision) search box, e.g. 34.
  6. Click on Search.

Go BarNet Jade and follow the instructions in this video.

  1. Go to AustLII.
  2. Click on the link to LawCite in the red toolbar.
  3. Enter the title of legislation in the Legislation Considered: search box (note that as you type the title in the box, a list of preloaded titles will appear, simply click on a title to select it).
  4. Enter section number if required in the Section: search box.
  5. Click on Search.
  1. Go to LawOne.
  2. Click on the Browse link in the LawOne toolbar.
  3. Click on the link to the relevant jurisdiction, i.e. CTH (Commonwealth).
  4. Click on link to the relevant legislation category, i.e. Acts (Current).
  5. Click on the relevant letter in the Starts with: alphabetical list, and then select the required Act from the list.
  6. When the Act is displayed, click on the i Key Info button to the top right of the Act.
  7. Click on the link to Cases under the Related instruments: heading.
  8. Cases which have considered the Act will be displayed in chronological order.

Please go to the database Lexis Advance Pacific to access this title.

Australian legislation websites

To locate acts/regulations, you can go direct to the legislation website of the relevant jurisdiction: