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Introduction to Legal Research

This guide is an introduction to legal research at the University of Melbourne. This guide is intended for law students in the JD, MLM , Breadth programs who are new to legal research. Students in other disciplines who may need to conduct legal research

Introduction to Legislative Research

Jurisdiction is important in legal research. In the legislative context, jurisdiction refers to the parliament or legislature which has created the legislation. Legislative research often involves looking at various types of information such as Acts (often called statues), Bills and explanatory memoranda (sometimes called explanatory notes), statutory rules (also called delegated legislation or regulations), parliamentary debates, and parliamentary committee reports.

At the end of this module you should have a greater understanding of legislation research, and in particular, the following areas: 

  • Understand the various legislative documents and the legislation making process 
  • Know where to start legislation research
  • Be able to find the following types of legislation:
    • Up-to-date Acts and Regulations
    • Acts and Regulations as Made 
    • Point-in-time Acts and Regulations
    • Find statutory interpretation materials
    • Understand what are annotated legislation and where to find them
    • Find journal articles and commentary on a particular legislation

But first, we recommend that you get familiar with the legislation making process.