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Law: Legal Commentary

What is legal commentary?

Legal commentaries provide up to date, detailed information on a particular subject area, such as criminal law, property law, contract law and so on.

They often provide a mixture of expert commentary, legislation and key cases. Legal commentaries which are updated in hardcopy are known as loose-leaf services.

Online Commentary

Online commentary can be found in Australian databases such as the ones listed below.  You can also search in Primo Search for the commentary title.

Don't forget to check the Area of Law tab for Legal Commentaries specific to your subject area.

Search across all of the Westlaw commentaries or navigate to specific titles using the  title list in the column on the left.

Commentaries in Westlaw cover Criminal, Evidence, Civil Procedure and Trusts areas of Law.  Westlaw also provides access to Practice Manuals from different Australian jurisdictions.

Search using subject terms and filter by Document Type Topic or Jurisdiction. Alternatively, browse by Practice Areas.

Commentaries in CCHIntelliconnect cover Contracts, Environmental Management, Tax, Torts, Commercial Leasing, Conveyancing, Family, Company and Employment areas of law.

Search across all of the Lexis Advance commentaries or navigate to specific titles listed.

Commentaries in Lexis Advance cover Corporations, Criminal, Administrative, Civil Procedure, Energy Resources and Copyright areas of Law.  Lexis Advance also holds a number of resources for Precedents.

Search the JIRS collection or browse to Criminal law case summaries and commentaries on the principles and practice of sentencing.

Tip! Looseleaf services

You'll find AGLC rules for commentaries under the term 'looseleaf'. 

The term looseleaf comes from the format for commentaries, when published in hardcopy.  Hardcopy commentaries are produced in a series of unbound pages stored in a ring binder an regularly updated as the law changed.  

Updates are sent as new pages, which are then interfiled in the folder, with superseded pages removed.  A time consuming process that has largely been replaced by online versions of these publications.