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Law - Legal research guide: Legislation: 5. Updating Acts

Find out about acts, delegated legislation, bills, parliamentary documents and extrinsic materials for Australian jurisdictions

Updating an Act - online or on the shelf?

Online Compilations of Acts are very useful for research and study, however they are currently not the official authorised version of legislation and cannot be presented in court. Therefore, it is important that, in practice, you know how to update an act, potentially using hardcopy print versions if necessary.

  • The updated print version of the act has to be presented as an authority in court
  • You may be asked to update an act as a clerk in a law firm
  • You may need to locate the historical version of an act at a certain point in time which precedes online access

Steps to updating an Act

  1. Locate an online compilation of the act
  2. Check the history of amendments in the Compilation Table at the end of the act. For WA acts this includes a history of reprints. Use Federal Statutes Annotations for the CTH latest Reprint listing
  3. Locate the latest Reprint (on the shelf in the Legislation collection on level 2 of the Beasley Law Library)
  4. Check in the Compilation Table in the online compilation to see if there have been any amendments since the last Reprint
  5. If you are updating only one provision, then you need to determine which amendments apply to that provision. For WA use the in-text annotations. For CTH use the Table of Amendments at the end of the compilation
  6. Check commencement details to make sure that recent amendments are in-force
  7. For point-in-time updating check for reprints and amendments occurring before the required date

Paper copies of WA and CTH legislation are on the shelf in the Legislation Collection on Level 2 of the Beasley Law Library.