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About this guide

This Guide will help you find, select, evaluate and reference information resources for your assignments and research.  Each navigation tab on the left has sub-pages for Cases, Legislation and Commentary sources for the relevant topic eg. Environment, public international law etc.

  • If you are new to Law, use the Fundamentals of Legal Research page and sub-pages to get a feel for the research databases.
  • Use the navigation tabs on the left to identify and develop your understanding of:
    • Key information sources in law and how to access them
    • Key steps in the research and referencing process
  • Use the quick links on the right to connect to essential Library tools and webpages, and for Study and Research Guides on related topics.

Key Legal Sources

There are a number of databases available at Macquarie University Library for researching legal issues.  Throughout the Library Guides on this page you will become familiar with the main four databases that are commonly used and have a long history publishing legal research materials.

Australia's Legal System

In Australia, there are two parts to the legal system:

  • Legislation - made by Parliament
  • Common Law (also known as Case Law or Judge-made law):
    • where a judge will interpret the legislation if it is unclear; or
    • if there is no legislation, make a decision based on prior cases (known as precedents).

Check out the material below to broaden your outlook on Australia's legal system.

Quick Links for Students