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Legal Research Skills

Finding legislation on a topic

The best place to get started when searching for legislation on a topic is a legal encyclopaedia or legal commentary service. Both these sources will refer to the relevant legislation (and case law) relating to many different topics.

Follow the instructions on this page to browse legislation by topic or search using keywords.

Key databases for finding legislation on a topic

Subscription databases

Free databases


To browse legislation by subject in LawOne:

  1. Click Browse in the top toolbar
  2. Choose the relevant jurisdiction, e.g. CTH (Commonwealth)
  3. Click By Subject Area (Current or Repealed).
  4. Browse the subject areas on the left-hand side.

To search legislation using keywords in LawOne:

  1. Click Search in the top toolbar > click Go to Advanced mode (top-right of the page)
  2. Type keywords in the Search terms box (leave search type set to Boolean for the most flexibility)
  3. Restrict search to a section of the legislation for greater relevancy, e.g. Titles or All Headings.
  4. Select Jurisdiction/s, Type of legislation and Status by clicking on available options (a tick will appear next to selections)
  5. Add a Subject if desired.

LawOne browse by subject

LawNow (Lexis+)

To browse legislation by subject in LawNow:

  1. Choose a jurisdiction, e.g. Commonwealth
  2. Click Current Acts by Subject or SubLeg by Subject.

To search legislation using keywords in LawNow:

  1. Click Lexis+ Australia at the top-left of the page to return to the homepage
  2. Click Advanced Search below the main search box > select Legislation from the drop-down menu 
  3. Type keywords into the search box/es and select a jurisdiction if necessary.

CCH iKnowConnect

To browse legislation by subject in CCH:

  1. Expand the navigation panel on the left-hand side
  2. Expand the relevant practice area > then click Legislation
  3. Click the title of the relevant legislation, then navigate to the provision in the legislation table of contents

CCH legislation homepage

To search legislation by keywords in CCH:

  1. Type your search terms into the top search bar
  2. On the results page, expand the Filters panel on the left-hand side, then under Content Type, limit to Legislation

CCH legislation filter


To search legislation using keywords in AustLII:

  1. Click the drop-down arrow to the left of the main search bar > select Advanced Search
  2. Click Boolean Query and search using keywords and search operators
  3. Next to the Select the database(s) to search... heading, click Show all (to display all databases in the list)
  4. Tick the box to search the relevant legislation database, e.g. Commonwealth: Consolidated Acts

AustLII searching legislation by keyword