Legal research

Commentary services may be published in print form as looseleaf services as well as online. They provide very up-to date information on an area of law and can provide a thorough overview and analysis of a topic and include legislation, cases, rules, practice directions and commentary on the area by expert authors.

Practitioners often consult commentary from several publishers to inform their opinions.

Online commentary services are mostly provided by Australian legal publishers on their databases, such as in the examples selected below.


To browse all commentary sources click on ‘View all publications’ on the home page. Then using the refine options in the left hand side of the screen choose ‘AU Secondary Materials’ in the ‘Content Type’ box. Then further refine to ‘Commentary’ or ‘Textbooks’. Alternatively, perform a keyword search and refine using the same options in the results list.

Examples include:

  • Advocacy in Practice
  • Australian Corporation Practice
  • Civil Procedure WA
  • Computer Forensics, Electronic Discovery and Electronic Evidence
  • Ford, Austin & Ramsay’s Principles of Corporations Law
  • Halsbury’s Laws of Australia
  • Jacob’s Law of Trusts in Australia
  • Law of Agency
  • Statutory Interpretation in Australia

Westlaw AU

Select Commentary under the Secondary Sources heading in the Content type list on the home page. You can then browse or filter by topic or jurisdiction.

Examples include:

  • Australian Bankruptcy Law and Practice
  • Building and Construction Contracts in Australia
  • Computer Contracts
  • Crutchfield’s Voluntary Administration
  • Lawyer’s Practice Manual WA
  • McPherson’s Law of Company Liquidation
  • Miller’s Australian Competition and Consumer Law Annotated
  • Ross on Crime

CCH iKnowConnect

Select your ‘Practice Area’ from the left-hand side of the screen and then choose ‘Commentary’. Alternatively perform your keyword search and then refine your search results to ‘Commentary’.

Examples include:

  • Asia Business Guide - Singapore Commentary
  • Australian Contract Law Commentary
  • Australian Master Environment Guide
  • Australian Master Environmental Management Commentary
  • Australian Premium Master Tax Guide
  • Australian Torts Commentary
  • Australian Worker’s Compensation Commentary
  • Lang’s Commercial Leasing in Australia