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Law: secondary sources

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


Legal encyclopedias

'Legal encyclopedias are often a great place to begin researching an unfamiliar area of law. They provide an overview and history of the law, and list key legislation and cases. Legal encyclopedias also provide succinct summaries on the current state of the law and are generally organised by subject.'

- Jay Sanderson, Drossos Stamboulakis and Kim Kelly, A Practical Guide to Legal Research (Thomson Reuters, 5th ed, 2021) 132.

Encyclopedia sources


Halsbury's laws of Australia

 - (Lexis Advance)

Halsbury's Laws of Australia is a comprehensive legal encyclopedia written in a clear, concise form covering all Australian law. Designed to reduce research time dramatically, Halsbury's Laws of Australia provides definitive statements of the law supported by primary authority contained in detailed footnotes. Each topic is written by an expert, then reviewed by a distinguished editorial panel and is intensively checked to give users confidence in its accuracy. Regular updates keep Halsbury's current with changes in the law.
Halsbury's consists of 35 volumes covering 89 subject areas and all nine jurisdictions. To help research, Halsbury's includes a consolidated index and consolidated tables of cases and statutes.


The laws of Australia

 - (Westlaw Australia)

The Laws of Australia encyclopedia is a complete library of legal principles covering over 320 topics and every Australian jurisdiction.
The Laws of Australia's signature style and structure makes it easy to get acquainted with unfamiliar areas of the law. Each paragraph opens with a bold proposition that encapsulates the relevant legal principle, while the text that follows analyses complexities, nuances and developments in the law. Extensive referencing makes The Laws of Australia the ideal starting point for research on any legal topic, across any Australian jurisdiction.


Australian encyclopedia of forms and precedents

 - (Lexis Advance)

This work contains over 4,000 legal forms and precedents covering 93 areas of law. Primary subject areas include: Corporations; Sale of Business; Real Property; Family Law; Wills; Intellectual Property; and Employment. Secondary subject areas include the following titles: Sale of Goods; Shipping; Minerals & Energy; Sport; Civil Aviation; Clubs & Societies; Charities; Trusts; Powers of Attorney; and many more. Introductory notes explain the purpose of individual forms, precedents and clauses, and indicate where and when each should be used. Precedents are drafted in plain English, by experienced practitioners in leading law firms and from the bar.



Flag of Canada

Halsbury's laws of Canada

Halsbury's laws of Canada is a comprehensive collection that delivers an authoritative, reliable and elegant statement of Canadian law. It covers every proposition of the law. Each volume is divided into alphabetically arranged titles that make it convenient to use and allows for quick and easy research into any topic (LexisNexis Quicklaw).

Canadian encyclopedic digest

The Canadian encyclopedic digest provides a comprehensive statement of the law of Ontario and the four western provinces - provincial, federal and common law - as derived from the case law and legislation (Thomson Reuters Westlaw).