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Secondary Materials Help

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Table of Contents

Introduction to Secondary Materials

Secondary materials are commentaries on and discussions of the law. They comprise such disparate things as journal articles, explanatory statements issued with regulations, explanatory memoranda issued with Bills, case summaries and law reform materials. Others may be found in our full listing of databases.

Secondary materials are distinct from "primary materials" (such as cases and legislation) because they do not form a part of the law itself -- they only describe or discuss it. For this reason they are often extremely useful in coming to grips with an area of law, because most of the analysis has already been done by the author(s).

The AustLII Secondary Legal Materials databases include hypertext links to most relevant material. These generally include the following:

These links are inserted automatically by our hypertext markup software, which uses complex heuristics to determine exactly which documents a citation might refer to. In most cases the links are correct, however sometimes errors are made, due to the nature of English writing, and legal writing in particular. You should also bear in mind that links to acts go to the current version of that act, not necessarily the version of the act that existed at the time that the document was written.

Using Secondary Materials

Each document is preceded by a number of "links". The meaning of these links is set out below. Not all of these links will appear in all document types.

Printing Secondary Materials

To print a page, you can either use the "Print" function of your web browser, or click [Download] to get the RTF version of the document if one exists, load it into your word processor, and print it from there.

About the Markup

Secondary materials are 'marked up' on a massively automated basis. We are constantly improving this process to add functionality. If you have suggestions, these are more than welcome. Please bear in mind that the mark up process is essentially heuristic in nature - that is, it is designed to make the occasional mistake. If you think that you can suggest a general approach to better taking into account the salient features which are inherent to most case law databases, please send us feedback.

Reproduction of Secondary Materials

All secondary materials on the AustLII site are published with the permission of the relevant copyright holder. AustLII cannot give you permission to reproduce the secondary materials on the AustLII site. To reproduce these materials beyond what is permitted by the Copyright Act 1968, you should contact the relevant copyright holder to obtain permission. Details to assist you to do this are provided on each database index page (eg see the Melbourne University Law Review database index page).

Additionally, while AustLII is proudly a "free to air" service, nonetheless our detailed markup of legislation is subject to copyright and cannot be copied. The markup is absolutely not in the public domain as far as any sort of reproduction is concerned. Please see AustLII's usage policy for full details.

Copyright permission requests in respect of the AustLII markup and other AustLII-created content should be made through AustLII Feedback.

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