Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands
(and the Commonwealth)

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Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Legal Information Institute (CommonLII) aims to provide one central Internet location from which it is possible to search - for free - core legal information from all Commonwealth countries. CommonLII will provide a common technical platform through which all Commonwealth countries can cooperatively provide access to their laws. CommonLII will assist the development of a genuinely international common law. It will support the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth, by making each country's legal system more transparent. This transparency will also support international trade and investment. It provides 987 databases from 60 Commonwealth and common law jurisdictions via 8 Legal Information Institutes.

The Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association (CLA) is an international organisation which exists to promote and maintain the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth by ensuring that an independent and efficient legal profession, with the highest standards of ethics and integrity, serves the people of the Commonwealth. Lawyers have much to learn from the comparative experience of other Commonwealth countries and share substantial common ground in their legal systems, education and practice. In the pursuit of these objectives, the CLA participates in a wide range of activities including advocacy, undertaking research projects, organising the biannual Commonwealth Law Conference and providing services to our members.

The CLA provides list of legally oriented organisations in the Commonwealth.

Australia

The Australian Legal Information Institute (Austlii) is a joint facility of the UTS and UNSW Faculties of Law. It provides free internet access to Australasian legal materials with over four million searchable documents. AustLII publishes primary legal materials (legislation, treaties and decisions of courts and tribunals); and secondary legal materials created by public bodies for purposes of public access (law reform and royal commission reports for example) and a substantial collection of law journals.

They provide a comprehensive index to Australian legal resources - the place to start any search for Australian legal sources or bodies.

The Australian Government presents a large amount of information on the Federal Parliament and on Government Departments, agencies and official publications. There are links to information and services on around 900 Australian government websites as well as selected state and territory resources. The search engine also provides a search across all Australian government websites.

The New South Wales Law Society is probably the most advanced of the State Law Societies and offers a Directory of Legal Practices, a database of Members of the Law Society, the "Law Society Journal" online (and an archive since 1995) and information on its services and activities.

CourtAppearances.com.au is a free legal directory which locates, identifies, and profiles Court Lawyers specialising in court appearances, litigation, court work, and associated areas of law in 750+ Courts, Tribunals, and Quasi-Courts (Courts) throughout Australia. It assists the public and legal profession locate suitably qualified, conveniently located Court Lawyers.

Major firm Gilbert & Tobin provides a large number of articles online relating to Commercial and Corporate Law, IT and media topics, with particular relevance to Australia (but not limited to Australian significance).

Australasian Legal Business Online is one of a family of such publications, the others being Asia, China and the Middle East. The site contains latest legal news, events and developments in the relevant area and the international business community. Each issue contains in-depth features examining changes in legislation, important areas of practice, overseas jurisdictions along with revealing profiles of major industry leaders. There is also a jobs site for the same regions which is here.

LawPath is a commercial service, allowing customers to ask a legal question and connect with a lawyer from the Lawpath network for a free 30 minute consultation. Sophisticated matching technology identifies qualified local lawyers (around Australia) who are interested in assisting with the matter. The user can also buy legal documents, many supplied by LexisNexis, to use themselves, with a personal lawyer review of the documents available as an option. The firms pay a monthly subscription fee to be part of the scheme and be listed in the directory. The scheme only started in February 2013 but already seems to be attracting considerable interest.

New Zealand

New Zealand Legal Information Institute (NZLII) provides free access to legal information in New Zealand with 83 databases of legislation, case law, law journals and other materials. It is a joint project of the University of Otago Faculty of Law, University of Canterbury and the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) with the assistance of the Law School, Victoria University of Wellington.

New Zealand Government Site is a cheerful and well designed site providing information for ordinary people (e.g. "The Citizen's Guide to Government") as well as profesfssionals. There is a list of agencies online and their contact points, and an index of services, functions, or responsibilities for central government agencies. A search engine allows full keyword indexing of all government agencies' web sites. All current consultation papers are on the site and comments invited.

The Ministry of Justice provides information on the department and on various consultation processes and reports.

The New Zealand Law Society provides information about the New Zealand Legal System and a series of news items on legal topics.

The University of Waikato Law Library lists the Courts, Tribunals, Statutory Authorities, and such other bodies in New Zealand which make legal or quasi-legal decisions and reports. It also provides, or links to, brief information on their jurisdiction; governing legislation; administering bodies; contact details; the availability of reported (published) and unreported (unpublished) decisions; information on indexes to the decisions; and library holdings of decisions.

New Zealand Lawyers' Society is an informal body which was established in March 1993 to promote the interests of New Zealand law and lawyers in England. They have a membership of approximately 300-400, comprising solicitors, barristers, academics, corporate, banking and business lawyers, and students. The site provides information on a range of issues of interest to members (jobs, immigration, work permits etc), and to English lawyers who might wish to emigrate and practice in New Zealand.

Useful Legal Resources for New Zealand (a list of web addreses) comes from major New Zealand firm Smith & Partners. Based in West Auckland, the firm also provides many articles on legal topics and legal processes in New Zealand affecting private individuals, New Zealand businesses, charitable trusts and family trusts.

Legal publishers
Thomson Reuters now own the original New Zealand legal publishers, Brookers. They offer Court of Appeal Judgments from November 1995 onwards. There is a search facility. New decisions will usually be included within two weeks of the date of judgment. There is also a section of current legal news and a lawyers' Directory.

The Pacific Islands

The Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute (PacLII) is a prototype system produced from data developed and published by the University of the South Pacific School of Law with assistance from the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII). It includes references for all the countries and islands of the region.

The University of the South Pacific covers Cook Islands, Fiji Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The Universty site includes

  • The Journal of South Pacific Law (an online journal)
  • Details of the 'Legal Developments in the Pacific Island Region' conference
  • Pacific Law Materials (the most extensive collection of legislation and cases from the countries of the Pacific island region, including many unreported judgments)
  • Links to other sites significant for those interested in the Pacific



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