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Legal Research Competencies and Self Test: Legal Research Competencies

Produced by various WA law librarians to help recent law graduates to self-check their knowledge and understanding of legal research.

Competencies for Legal Research

It is expected that you are able to:

  • Understand the difference between Primary and Secondary sources of law
  • Understand the authority of different sources of law
  • Understand Boolean operators

 

Competencies for Legislation Research

Bound Commonwealth legislationIt is expected that you are able to or have an understanding of:

  • The relationship between legislation and delegated legislation
  • The difference between numbered, reprinted and compilation versions of legislation and delegated legislation
  • How to update legislation and delegated legislation
  • How to locate legislation and delegated legislation by subject
  • How to locate legislation and delegated legislation by title
  • How to locate legislation and delegated legislation judicially considered
  • How to update legislation and delegated legislation
  • How to locate commencement information for legislation and delegated legislation
  • How to discover what legislation and delegated legislation was in force at a certain point in time
  • How to check for amendments to legislation
  • How to locate previous versions of legislation

 

Competencies for Case Law Research

Bound law reportsIt is expected that you are able to or have an understanding of:

  • The Court Hierarchy
  • The reporting hierarchy and the authorised reports
  • What a case citator is, and what they can be used for
  • The structure of a case
  • The difference between authorised and unauthorised report series
  • The difference between reported and unreported cases
  • How to find what an abbreviation of a report series is
  • How to locate an unreported version of a case
  • How to locate a reported version of a case
  • How to check if there is an authorised version of a case
  • Locating cases by subject
  • Locating cases by citation
  • Locating cases by party names
  • Locating cases that have judicially considered legislation or sections of legislation
  • Locating cases that have defined a term or phrase 

 

Competencies for Secondary Sources Research

Wordle of Secondary SourcesIt is expected that you are able to or have an understanding of:

  • How to locate an overview of an area of law
  • How to find commentary on legislation and cases
  • How to find journal articles about the law