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Pritzker Legal Research Center

Australia: International Team Project


Australia has a common law legal system and adheres to the doctrine of precedent. For U.S. legal researchers, researching Australian law is much easier than researching the law of most other foreign jurisdictions because Australia has a similar legal system as the United States, materials are available in English, and many full-text searchable databases are available. 



Case Law

The High Court of Australia is the highest court in the Australian judicial system. The Federal Court of Australia is a superior court of record with jurisdiction over civil matters under Australian federal law and some criminal matters. Each State or Territory has a Supreme Court, which is the highest court in that State or Territory. States and Territories also have County Court or District Court (intermediate court) and Magistrates' Court (lowest level). 

Subject Collections of Legal Materials

Subject law collections provide access cases and legislation from Australia and other countries pertaining to a specific subject area. Using a subject law collection is particularly helpful when you are comparing the laws of more than one country. 

For more suggestions on subject-specific collections of laws, please see GlobaLex's Foreign Law - Subject Law Collections on the Web research guide