Our eResources provide access to freely available Australian legal sites, as well as licensed resources available offsite to registered readers, and onsite resources available inside the National Library building only. Once in the eResources, the easiest was to find these is to go to the 'browse eResources' tab and select 'law and politics' from the menu.


Looking for historical information about Australian law read the research guide we have published about the Australian Joint Copying Project or AJCP. 

This is a collection of historical material relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific dating from 1560 to 1984. The material has been drawn from records held in the UK and microfilmed.

A guide to finding Australian law resources

High Court of Australia

If you are researching law for the first time, you may find it worthwhile reading an overview of law in Australia and Australia’s legal system:

Our catalogue

A basic search in our catalogue will reward you with many books, journals and online resources.

Sources of Australian Law


Primary sources are the actual statements of law, made by law-making bodies.

They include:

  • Legislation (statutes or acts passed by parliament)
  • Subordinate legislation (including legislative instruments, regulations, statutory rules, by-laws, orders, ordinances, instruments or determinations)
  • Law reports (published reports of decisions or judgments of courts or tribunals)

The law in Australia operates on both a state and a commonwealth level.

Jurisdiction Link
Multiple jurisdictions

LawNow (browse by jurisdiction) (Lexis Advance)


Commonwealth Federal Register of Legislation
Australian Capital Territory ACT Legislation Register
New South Wales NSW Legislation
Northern Territory Northern Territory Legislation
Queensland Queensland Legislation
South Australia South Australian Legislation
Tasmania Tasmanian Legislation
Victoria Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents
Western Australia Western Australia Legislation


Secondary sources assist in locating and interpreting the primary sources.

They include:

International law

In Australia, we participate in world affairs under the rules in which participating nations agree to treat each other. The Office of International Law (OIL) within the Attorney-General's Department provides international law advice to the Australian Government. 

Different types of law in Australia

Other NLA research guides


Our eResources hold a comprehensive variety of different publications and cover some international sources.

We have a guide to major online resources available in the library or online.

How to cite the law in your work

In our collection we have numerous items that can explain how to properly cite legal works.

See for example: