• Publication Date: March 2, 2009
  • EAN: 9781862877238
  • 336 pages; 6" x 8⅝"
Filed Under: Legal Writing

Concise Legal Research


Product Description

Concise Legal Research details the technical aspects of a huge number of legal sources and explains how to research law with confidence and in good time.

This new edition focuses on the impact of online access and the need for the researcher to move seamlessly between traditional and electronic resources. All strategies that have been created to incorporate hard copy researching techniques have been updated with alternate electronic methods.

Particular attention has been paid to the chapter on secondary sources, and with the maintenance of a structured approach to research, recognises that online research – with its many inherent pitfalls – must carefully fit within rules of research required by the discipline.



Primary Source Material – Commonwealth, NSW, Selected Australian Jurisdictions and UK

Delegated Legislation

Law Reports

Secondary Source Material

Finding the Law in New Zealand, Canada and India

Finding the Law in the United States of America

International Law

The Legal Materials of the European Union

Non-commercial Internet Addresses for Legal Research


All readers are directed particularly to Chapters 1. Citation; 2. Primary Source Material; and 5. Secondary Source Material. These chapters, which deal with the fundamentals of legal research, are written in a clear and readable style, and contain many useful insights. In particular a knowledge of them would enable the reader to gain a mastery over the detailed requirements of legislation, law reports and the more in-depth knowledge of these topics in the particular jurisdictions set out in the other chapters. Although the authors have integrated the various forms of electronic data retrieval throughout the text, they have still retained in the final chapter a comprehensive list of Non-Commercial Internet Addresses for legal Research.

The value of the book lies in establishing a feeling of confidence in the reader who might be involved with legal research for the first time. To those who are experienced in legal research this new edition will still serve as both a useful aide-memoire and stimulation for the conduct of their future research. – Emeritus Professor David Barker AM, Editor, Legal Education Digest, 54 Vol 17 No 1, March 2009

Now in its sixth edition, this book is a core reference tool for legal researchers and legal librarians who conduct legal research. It details the technical aspects of legal sources and explains how to research law with confidence and in good time. This edition focuses on the impact of online access, and the need for the researcher to move seamlessly between traditional and electronic resources….I think this book would be worth buying for personal use for any legal researcher and also for any good-sized legal library with access to some of the major commercial databases. – Australian Law Librarian, Vol 18 No 1, 2010

Aimed at practitioner and student alike, Concise Legal Research is a surprisingly comprehensive guide, truly compact, with an emphasis on time management, and the transition between traditional and online resources.

This is the kind of refreshing relief from black letter tomes that made you heave a sigh of relief at university, with its accessible style and logical structure. It features chapters on:

· Citation

· Primary and secondary material

· Delegated Legislation

· Law Reports

· International Law

· Internet Addresses for Legal Research

It has a valuable section on Australian jurisdictions, with a background on the form of legislation for each state. The section on law reports is brief but extensive. – Ethos, ACT Law Society Journal, June 2009

Reviews of previous editions:Many lawyers, having embraced the Internet, sometimes spend far too long searching aimlessly for relevant cases or the latest legislative changes. We end up clutching reams of patchy material or nothing much at all. Concise Legal Research provides a good overview of current electronic and hardcopy resources in each Australian and some overseas jurisdictions and offers techniques for staying on track.

Now in its 5th edition, Concise Legal Research would be most useful for law students, junior lawyers, librarians and anyone looking for a legal resource refresher. It has a mix of legal history, explanations of research materials and methodology and a myriad of references for further reading. …

One of the book’s strengths is the acknowledgement that given the rapid changes in electronic materials, some of the information or websites provided may soon be obsolete. What will remain constant is the need to approach research systematically and the need to be aware of the available resources. Concise Legal Research is a book well worth consulting. – Catherine Vardy, Law Institute (Vic) Journal Vol 79: No.4 (April 2005) 61

The introduction to this book is worth quoting ….

King George III is reputed to have said that a lawyer is not a person who knows the law but one who knows where to find it. It could be added that a good and successful lawyer is one who can find the law quickly, and with the available materials. This is what is meant by concise legal research.

This is the 5th edition of this book since 1993. The number of editions reflects the changes in this area with the introduction of electronic publishing. This is a comprehensive summary of legal research resources. …

Although not a practice manual, there is some brief explanation of the relative merits of various sources and ways of searching. There are many useful snippets …

Although an Australian book, half of the 271 pages of this book is devoted to legal resources on International Law and the laws of New Zealand, Canada, India, the USA and Europe. …

This is a worthy book for every law student. All practitioners need to know what it teaches. If you have lost confidence with your research skills, a couple of hours reading of the book will refresh your knowledge, improve your skills and increase your confidence. – Tim Tierney, Tasmanian Law Society Newsletter, December 2004

When the pressures of work demand quick and accurate answers, the need to locate relevant legal information is acute. For some, legal research is a hit and miss affair … A more systematic approach is offered by Robert Watt in his book Concise Legal Research. … Throughout the text, examples are provided so that readers can understand and familiarise themselves with actual source material. – Australian Law Journal

a useful guide to electronic databases … this reviewer found the section on Canada particularly useful … a point of first reference for someone wanting to undertake research on international human rights law. – International Trade & Business Law Journal

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