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How to search relevant laws and cases 101

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iconoclast View Drop Down
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Joined: 04/January/2010
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  Quote iconoclast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How to search relevant laws and cases 101
    Posted: 29/March/2012 at 20:59

I am writing this post to assist all forum users because I think it may really help us to get some clarity about how to do the research and understand the various and sometimes conflicting effects of the relevant legislation and how it could or will affect your own cases.

Every single case is different. This is not specific to any particular case - it is about how to "find out how to find out" without spending a fortune on lawyers. I invite each forum member to make their own enquiries and to tailor their research to suit the particular circumstances of their own cases. I do not profess to be an expert and would value the input from anyone else with some expertise in this area.

Here is part 1: what is austlii and what can it do for me?

The austlii website is freely available to anyone. The acronym (letters stand for) or "austlii" means Australian legal information Institute.

Their brilliant web site at "about us" says and I acknowledge them as the source:

What is AustLII?

AustLII is Australia's most popular online free-access resource for Australian legal information, serving the needs of a multitude of users with over 900,000 hits daily. AustLII is a joint facility of the UTS and UNSW Faculties of Law. AustLII relies on the generosity of its contributors to operate. To make a tax deductible contribution please use our contribution form.

What does AustLII do?

The Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) provides free internet access to Australasian legal materials. AustLII's broad public policy agenda is to improve access to justice through better access to information. To that end, we have become one of the largest sources of legal materials on the net, with over four million searchable documents.

AustLII publishes public legal information -- that is, primary legal materials (legislation, treaties and decisions of courts and tribunals); and secondary legal materials created by public bodies for purposes of public access (law reform and royal commission reports for example) and a substantial collection of law journals.

Legal Information on AustLII

AustLII maintains its own collections of primary materials: legislation and court judgments ("case law"). Some legal training or familiarity with the subject matter is sometimes required to make use of these documents.

Alternatively, AustLII also has a collection of secondary materials: commentaries and summaries on the law. This includes large projects such as the Australian Indigenous Law Library, the Australiasian Law Reform Library, the Australasian Law Journals Library and many others.

If you have no legal training but are trying to find out some legal information then consult the Community Legal Information pages. Select the subject matter that you are interested in and click on the links until you find the information you're after.

Help on using AustLII is available. You can consult the comprehensive on-line help pages for help on searching and locating information, or you can download and print the more extensive AustLII User Guides.

Okay now you know what it is; let us see if we can refine ways to use it that will best help you in your quest for justice.

Stay tuned to this station - it is a work in progress

Cheers Iconoclast

Edited by iconoclast - 29/March/2012 at 21:16
not legal advice

iconoclast View Drop Down
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  Quote iconoclast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31/March/2012 at 17:43
Okay, in the last few days many have asked how to do this research.

BIG WARNING:- it can be an exercise in frustration. Just one single different "keyword" entered will change the results. So persist! Keep entering keywords. Read the austlii "how to use" advice as published by this awesome font of legal knowledge.

A few recent examples as at the date of posting: (no particular order - just what was recent on this fine forum):-

"concernedparent" told us only a few days ago about the encounter CP's daughter had with NSW coppers and their strip search of that 20 year old person in circumstances which were it seems not acceptable or in keeping with the relevant legislation.

So how do we know that it was most probably NOT OK what CP's daughter experienced? Well we have no choice but to examine the relevant legislation. This is merely one example - there are hundreds more and I provide it for one reason only: IT IS ONE EXAMPLE ONLY of how to search relevant legislation. More will follow on any relevant case law but let us just start with the LAW as proclaimed and applicable to that particular case.

Go to the "austlii" website. Enter the jurisdiction that is is you wish to search - easily found on that marvelous and FREELY available website. In the provided example it concerns "strip searches" and in NSW only.

So we went austlii > NSW resources > current legislation > enter "search box" with the following terms :- "strip search" and guess what showed up? This is referred to in my reply to concerned parent on Thurs 29 March 2012. Just go back and look for yourself if in any doubt about that fact. I ask any interested forum member to do the same because I am not here to provide all the answers but I am concerned as to how to best help you how to "find out how to find out" about the important stuff - to you and your own cases - for yourselves.

Did you do it? If not ask not. More coming later - cheers.

not legal advice

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