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Australian Legislation

What is legislation?


Legislation is the law that is produced by parliament. In order to become law, a draft of the law (the bill) must be passed through both houses of parliament. Jurisdiction is important in legal research. In the legislative context, jurisdiction refers to the parliament or legislature which has created the legislation.

Note: The Parliament of Australia's publication The Australian System of Government provides an overview of the structure of government at a Commonwealth level. Most Australian jurisdictions follow a similar structure.


Why is legislation important?


Legislation forms the laws that govern society and which are used by judges to create case law. 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. This guide will show you where to can find this information, and help you understand the process of legislative research.