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Australia: legal resources: Encyclopedias in print

Using old Halsbury's Laws of Australia

Research tips  Please note these tips are for paper research up to 2010

The Law Bod as an historic print copy of Halsbury's Laws of Australia. It ceased being up dated in 2010.

Volumes 1-28 arrange content under alphabetically listed 'titles'.

Each volume contains Tables of Contents, Cases, Statutes and an index of words and phrases used in each title.

The information is arranged according to paragraph numbers, which appear in square brackets. The first number referes to the title number, and the second is the paragraph number , eg [110-235]
 110 - contract law 
    235 - international sale of goods

Using the service 

1.    First consult the Index volume and note the topic number in square brackets.
2.    Check the tab at the back of the Index volume called Title Locator to find which volume contains the Title you are searching.
3.    Once you have located the relevant paragraph, also look at the Notes section at the end of the paragraph, which refers to any relevant cases, statutes, books and journal articles.

By Subject

Consult the index volume and note the most relevant references and locate these references in the main volumes.


Consult the Table of Statutes to find references to title and paragraph numbers in the main volumes.
The Tables of Statutes can also be found in the main volumes behind the Contents-Tables guide card. These tables are limited to legislation covered by that volume.


Use the Table of Cases to find references to relevant title and paragraph numbers in the main volumes.
The Tables of Cases"can also be found at the beginning of each main volume. These tables will only apply to the cases covered in that volume.

Using old Laws of Australia in print.

Research tips  Please note these tips are for paper research up to 2005.

The Laws of Australia consists of:
•    Main title volumes: each title will have its own Table of Contents, Table of Cases, Table of Legislation and Index. Each title is updated with blue supplementary pages. Like Halsbury's, the paragraphs are numbered with square brackets. The number in bold indicates the title number, the number after the colon is the paragraph number, for example in the binder titled Evidence, there is a reference: 16.6:23
•    16.6 - Computer produced evidence
•    23 -  admissibility as a business record
•    Consolidated Index: alphabetical listing of subjects and subdivisions covered. Includes words and phrases legally defined under a separate heading.
•    Consolidated Table of Cases: lists all cases considered and referred to throughout the volumes.
•    Consolidated Table of Legislation: lists all legislation considered and referred to, including subordinate legislation, international conventions and rulings of regulatory bodies.

Subject searching:
Either consult the Consolidated Index or look up the references under the main title. Check the currency of the information because our volumes have not been updated since 2005. The date of currency is on the reverse of the title page.  If there are any blue Supplement sheets, check these to see if the paragraph number has been updated.
To update further, cross reference to The Australian Digest. Each subtitle in The Australian Digest has a detailed comparative table of the paragraph numbers used in The Laws of Australia.
Alternatively, comparative tables can also be found behind each subtitle tab card in the main volumes of The Laws of Australia. In the Australian Legal Monthly Digest, the Laws of Australia-Australian Digest Cross References Table can be found in the Cumulative Tables after the Table of Abbreviations.
Check the Updater in the Cumulative Tables to locate any recent cases.

Locating a case
Use the Consolidated Table of Cases to find titles, subtitles and paragraph numbers which consider or refer to the cases. References are to authorised reports and to paragraph numbers in the main volumes. There is a Table of Cases located at the beginning of each title which is more specific.
Updating is the same as described under Subject searching.

Finding Legislation
Use the Consolidated Table of Legislation to find titles and paragraph numbers that refer to or consider the legislation you are interested in. There is a Table of Legislation located at the beginning of each title.

Update Laws of Australia in paper by using Westlaw AU.