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Legal research guide: Procedure: Key resources

Key resources for researching Western Australian, Australian and UK Civil Procedure. It provides tips on getting started, how to use various Procedure Manuals and how to find Procedural Legislation, as well as Commentary Sources.

What is procedural law?

“A body of rules prescribing the manner, form, and order in which matters may be dealt with and enforced in a judicial forum. Procedural law includes the formal steps to be taken in an action such as pleading, process, evidence, and practice.”

Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary new window (Lexis Advance)

Did you know?

looseleaf service

Many of the resources listed in this guide started as paper loose-leaf services. This type of publication lends itself to procedural law because it brings together both primary and secondary source materials and is easily kept up-to-date with new developments.

Historically, only paper loose-leaf services were available. They were published in ring-binders so that as the law changed superceded pages could be removed and new pages inserted. Updates were usually published weekly or monthly.

In this day and age, most are now available online and are updated daily. These can be accessed via the respective database. 

Getting started: Legal dictionaries and encyclopaedias

Procedure legal research resources

The Lawlex Database can be used to look for Legislation and Delegated Legislation from various jurisdictions. But the true value lies in using it to look for Extrinsic Materials relating to various kinds of Legislation. For instance, Explanatory Memoranda, Hansard and Second Reading Speeches. This kind of information is usually found in the Related Links section of Lawlex. So look out for any links to Extrinsic Materials, next time you are using the Lawlex Database!

Procedural resources for Western Australia

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Legal reference resources

Court websites and procedural resources for other jurisdictions

Below are links to some of the court websites that you might frequently visit while studying Procedure.

Quick links to the Civil Procedure books for other Australian states

Why would these be relevant to you?

WA Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules were enacted in 1971 and were based on the English Rules of the time. Since then there have been a few amendments to WA rules but no major revision, so the UK interpretations are still useful.

In the UK,  the Civil Procedure Rules were considerably revised from the mid 1980’s. To interpret the WA rules, you can use the UK White Book up to the mid 80’s. After that the rules changed.

Old editions of the White Book (The Supreme Court Practice) can be recalled from Welshpool Store.

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