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Law: Legislation

Introduction to Legislation

Legislation is laws made by Parliament and comprises:

  • Acts (also called statutes) which may be amended later by Amending Acts or Amendments
  • Subordinate or delegated legislation (including regulations, rules, by-laws, ordinances, orders and legislative instruments) drafted by authorised bodies such as government departments, local councils and universities

Finding Legislation by Citation

1. Determine the jurisdiction - indicated at the end of the citation in brackets.  For example, Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) is an Act from the Australian (Commonwealth) Parliament.

2. Find the legislation online - go to the database for the relevant jurisdiction. There will be options to browse by legislation type, such as Bill, Act, Delegated Legislation and so on.


Hansards are the official edited reports of parliamentary proceedings, including debates related to legislation.  Click below to find Hansards for each jurisdiction in Australia:

International Legislation

For a more comprehensive list of International Law resources, please see the International Law Library Guide.


Multijurisdictional Legislation Databases

The Australian Constitution

Link here to the Australian Constitution

Commonwealth Coat of Arms