Module 3 - Finding Australian Legislation

Introduction

Legislation is statute law passed by the Commonwealth Parliament (Canberra) or the various state Parliaments (eg New South Wales Parliament).

The words statute and Act, or Act of Parliament, are often used interchangeably to refer to legislation.

There is another tier of legislation, subordinate legislation, made by various governmental bodies under authority granted by an Act of Parliament. These can be referred to as regulations, by-laws, rules or ordinances.

The relationship of case law and legislation

For any conflicts between case law and legislation, the legislation prevails until later case law decides otherwise. Case law often interprets legislation: by reading the case, you can understand the legislation and discover how the law works in practice.