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How do I find legal definitions?

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2015  |  188 Views

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The answer depends on the jurisdiction. 

For Australian law, try the legal dictionaries on LexisNexisAU. On the 'Dictionaries' tab you will find two dictionaries:

  • Australian Encyclopaedic Legal Dictionary - will give you a plain language definition supported by reference to the source in cases and legislation.  
  • Australian Legal Words and Phrases - will tell you where you can find definitions within the primary sources.

You can also try using Words and Phrases on WestlawAU, which also provides links to terms judicially considered:

  1. Go to 'Cases'
  2. Select Advanced Search > More options > Words and Phrases

If you need definitions from other jurisdictions you might find the eReference page on our Law Subject Guide useful.

There are also print legal dictionaries available in the Craven and St Benedict's Libraries. 

Answered by Alison GowersBookmark and Share

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