UTS Library


In this guide:

This study guide has been designed to help you find information about Australian legislation, including Bills, explanatory memoranda, second reading speeches, consolidated Acts etc. The guide provides tables that help you to identify which resources are available online or in hard copy. Links are provided to the databases that provide online access to legislative materials. There is also a brief explanatory section that explains the terminology used in the life cycle of legislation. Information on older English legislation is also included.

Legislative Services

Legislative Materials

Acts / Statutes: Laws made by Parliament and given royal assent by the crown (Commonwealth, State & Territory)

Bills: Legislative documents in the form of a proposed Act of Parliament that have not yet been (and might never be) passed by parliament or received royal assent

Delegated Legislation: Laws made by persons or authorities to whom parliament has delegated "law-making" authority within an act of Parliament

Explanatory memoranda (EM): Document explaining the aims and operation of a statute, if the meaning of a provision in an Act is ambiguous or obscure

Hansard: Provides a record of parliamentary debates and speeches made by of members of the houses of parliament. The 'second reading speech' is the speech in parliament of the person responsible for a Bill and is important because it outlines what the proposed law is supposed to do and why it is needed.

Parliamentary Papers: Reports of government departments and committees

Statue Annotations provide access to historical information about Acts including: date of latest reprint, names of amending acts, regulations under the Act, amended sections, case notes, annotations and relevant journal articles. They are availalbe in hardcopy and electronic format via LexisNexis.au

Federal Statutes Annotations: 344.94021/4

New South Wales Legislative Services

Acts in Force Acts as Made Bills & EN's


New South Wales Legislation


1997 1988-
LawOne 1998 2003 includes ENs 2003
2nd reading Speeches


Lexis Advance Pacific



includes ENs


2nd reading speeches



EN's Interfiled with the Bills


The Parliament of NSW also have Records of Legislative Proceedings from 1824 - 1856.
Includes access to selected earlier Reports of Parliamentary Debates

NSW Statute Annotations: 344.944021/5

State Legislative Services

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales (Includes Point in Time)

Northern Territory


South Australia

Tasmania (Includes Point in Time)


Western Australia

Legislation Judicially considered (Cases referring to legislation)

Lexis Nexis Pacific | Firstpoint 

Legislation by Subject (Commonwealth & State)

LawOne (Includes explanatory memoranda and second reading speeches)

Lexis Nexis Pacific (includes explanatory memoranda, second reading speeches and historical versions)
Corporations Law | Criminal Law | Family Law | Franchising | Industrial Law | Intellectual property Law | Motor & Traffic | OH&S | Workplace Relations

Intellliconnect CCH
Business Law | Conveyencing Law | Corporations Law | Employment | Family Law | Industrial Law | OH&S | Superannuation Law | Tax Law | Torts Law | Trade Practices

Wicks Subject Index to Commonwealth Legislation
344.94023/2 (CC)

Subject Index to the Acts & Regulations of New South Wales
344.944021/3 (CC Reserve) 

Finding Historical Statutes

Interpreting Old Citations

Citations to older English statutes follow the following pattern:

2 Hen 5, c. 7

<regnal year>, c. <chapter number(s)>

The regnal year is the year within a given monarch's reign. Regnal years start on the date of ascension to the throne. As a result, they vary from monarch to monarch and do not correspond to calendar years.

2 Hen 5, c. 7refers to the 7th Act passed in the 2nd year of the reign of Henry V. The 2nd year of Henry V's reign ran from March 21, 1414 to March 20, 1415.

Regnal Years

William I 1066-1087
William II 1087-1100
Henry I 1100-1135
Stephen 1135-1154
Henry II 1154-1189
Richard I 1189-1199
John 1199-1216
Henry III 1216-1272
Edward I 1272-1307
Edward II 1307-1327
Edward III 1327-1377
Richard II 1377-1399
Henry IV 1399-1413
Henry V 1413-1422
Henry VI 1422-1461
Edward IV 1422-1483
Edward V 1483 (April - June)
Richard III 1483-1485
Henry VII 1485-1509
Henry VIII 1509-1547
Edward VI 1547-1553
Mary 1553-1554
Philip and Mary 1554-1558
Elizabeth I 1558-1603
James I 1603-1625
Charles I 1625-1649
Charles II 1649-1685
James II 1685-1688
William and Mary 1689-1702
Anne 1702-1714
George I 1714-1727
George II 1727-1760
George III 1760-1820
George IV 1820-1830
William IV 1830-1837
Victoria 1837-1901
Edward VII 1901-1910
George V 1910-1936
Edward VIII 1936 (January - December)
George VI 1936-1952
Elizabeth II 1952-

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