Free Resources for legal research

3 October, 2019
Download PDF

Lawyers are obliged to know the law and keep themselves informed about the constantly changing and evolving areas in which they practice. Austlii and the Law Library of Victoria provide free online resources to assist with legal research and keeping abreast of changes to law.

The Austlii website contains a vast amount of information including Australian legislation, cases, Australian and New Zealand law journals, Australian Law Reform resources and various law hand books. It also has a powerful NoteUp tool that many practitioners don’t know about. NoteUp is a simple way to track down cases relevant to particular provisions in legislation. This can be easily found on the Austlii website by going to a section of the legislation you are interested in and clicking on NoteUp references under the ‘Cited by’ heading in the tools list on the right-hand side of the screen. This will take you to a list of the cases that refer to that section of the Act.

This is a great tool, for example, for conveyancing practitioners to understand in detail the disclosure requirements of the Sale of Land Act and how the courts have interpreted those provisions.  What legislation do you need to better understand?

The Law Library of Victoria was formed in 2012 by an amalgamation of the various court libraries and in 2018 the Victorian Bar Library became a branch of the Law Library of Victoria. Victorian practitioners have free access to the Law Library at its premises at the Supreme Court in William Street and the material on its website. There is a wide range of resources on the website including exclusive material that Victorian practitioners can access when they create a free user account. If you haven’t already done so you can register for access on their website.

Practitioners can subscribe to their fortnightly bulletin for case and legislative updates and news and events at the library are displayed on the website homepage.

The library also has an active presence on Twitter (@LawLibraryVic) and Instagram (@LawLibraryVic).

Happy researching!