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Law: secondary sources

This guide will assist you in identifying and searching secondary sources of law.


Getting started

Explore this guide for recommended starting and access points to locate secondary sources of law such as books, journals, dictionaries, encyclopedias and commentaries. 


'Secondary legal materials do not have the force or effect of the law; rather, they are publications which relate to, explain and provide commentary on the law.'

- Anita Stuhmcke, Legal Referencing (LexisNexis, 5th ed, 2019) 126.


Secondary source: In legal research, textbooks, legal encyclopaedias and periodical articles which provide restatements of law, often with associated commentary. Secondary sources are contrasted with the primary sources of the law (cases and legislation).

- LexisNexis, Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary

Guides of interest

Search & Find Library Resources

A guide to discovering and accessing library resources.

Resource list – guide for students

Explore how to get the most out of your Resource Lists.

News and newspapers

Search, find and subscribe to news sources and newspapers.

Australian Guide to Legal Citation

This guide will help you understand how to reference in AGLC style.

Contact your librarian

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Daniel Walker

Faculty Librarian, Law
Phone: +61 7 5595 1550

Book an appointment

Contact your Librarian

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Ian Edwards

Faculty of Law
Manager, Law Library
Phone: +61 7 5595 1520

Book an appointment