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Legal research guide: Secondary sources: Home

Learn how to develop an effective search strategy and then use it to locate relevant secondary sources to support your research for law assignments.

Finding legal sources


What are secondary sources in Law?

Common law draws a distinction between primary and secondary sources of law.

Primary sources of law are legislation and case law. Secondary sources are just about everything else, for example:

  • books
  • journal articles
  • legal encyclopaedia
  • Law Reform Commission reports
  • loose-leaf services
  • Secondary sources interpret and comment upon the law. They are sometimes collectively referred to as legal Commentary.


Why do I need them?

It's pretty obvious really, now that you know what they are. They are great research aids and help you to understand the basics of legal topics. They are also fantastic at providing references to key legislation and leading cases on assignment topics.


Where are they?

Look through this guide to find out!

Contact for support

Email your questions to our friendly library staff.


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