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Legal History of Australia and the United Kingdom

UK Parliamentary Papers

British State Papers

The term 'state papers' refers to government archives and records.

The state papers domestic are the accumulated papers of the secretaries of state relating to home affairs. They contain information on every facet of early modern government, including social and economic affairs, law and order, religious policy, crown possessions and intelligence gathering as well as some references to foreign policy. They can also include private and official letters, musters, reports, commissions and instructions, council orders and correspondence, memoranda and draft parliamentary bills.

Source: National Archives research guide

The state papers foreign are documents produced or received by the secretaries of state in the conduct of their work. They can include correspondence with English diplomats abroad and foreign diplomats in England, original and draft treaties, working papers of the secretaries, records of early Cabinet meetings.



Proceedings and Journals

The Journals are the formal record of proceedings in both Houses of Parliament.


Other resources

The Henry III Fine Rolls Project has made these fine rolls easily accessible. A fine in the reign of King Henry III (1216–1272) was an agreement to pay the king a sum of money for a specified concession. The rolls on which the fines were recorded provide the earliest systematic evidence of what people and institutions across society wanted from the king and he was prepared to give. The rolls record the purchase of an ever growing number of writs, from wide sections of society, to initiate and prosecute law cases, and are thus central to the study of the early common law.

House of Parliament (Source - Wikipedia)              




Australian Parliamentary Papers

Parliamentary Papers

Parliamentary Papers are documents that are presented to the Houses of Parliament and are ordered by one or both of the Houses to be printed. They include reports from government departments, Royal Commissions, committees of enquiry and other documents. Documents that are presented to Parliament but not ordered to be printed do not become Parliamentary Papers, and access to them is only available from the Parliament itself. Parliamentary Papers are published by the Commonwealth and most State and Territory governments. Various indexes to collections are available.

Source: GovPubs




New South Wales






Proceedings and Journals

Votes and proceedings record what is actually done in the Lower House of a Parliament. They are the official record of what business was transacted (similar to the minutes of a meeting), they do not indicate what was said
(see Hansard on the Legislation tab).

In the Upper Houses the record of business is called Journals or sometimes Minutes of the proceedings.

Parliament House, Canberra. (Source - Parliament of Australia)

Source: GovPubs



New South Wales


South Australia