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Legal research guide: Public Law: Public Law home

Find legislation, case law, key journals and databases, and tips on keeping your research current, in the area of Australian Public Law.

What is public law?

"The body of law dealing with the powers, rights, and obligations of the government and the governed. Public law is generally considered to be composed of constitutional, administrative, environmental, international, and criminal law. It also includes any statutory law that relates to the entire population of a state and that determines the responsibility of public officers towards the state, each other, and the public. It is contrasted with private law." 

 Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary (Lexis+)


Want to know where to find information in relation to public law? Check out the following sources:

  • The Laws of Australia includes Chapter 25 which is entitled Interpretation and Use of Legal Sources. Look out for 25.1 entitled Public Law.
  • In the Practice Area tab of the Westlaw AU Database homepage, you will find a link entitled Administrative and Public Law.  
  • You can also find some public law content in Halsbury's Laws of Australia. Just search "public law" in the search box! You can then limit your results using the Legal Topics filter to the left. 

Interpretation and use of legal sources

An Interview with Michael Kirby: Interpretation and Use of Legal Sources. The text discussed is part of the Laws of Australia series.

Banner image sources: Pixabay 1,2, 3, 4, 5 licensed under a CC0 Creative Commons license.

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