Legal information for students

Find information and resources for HSC Legal Studies students and teachers.

HSC Legal Studies research guide

The HSC Legal Studies research guide brings together the essential resources for studying Preliminary and HSC Legal Studies into one place. It lists resources that will help you find relevant legislation, cases, journal articles, research papers and media reports that you can use to support your research.

How laws are made videos

Watch the How laws are made videos to find out how laws are made by Parliament and the courts.

The law governs our lives from the day we are born to the day we die. So where do our laws come from? This video explains how parliaments make law, explaining the process of a Bill to an Act, how legislation changes over time, why the Commonwealth makes some laws and the states others, and delegated legislation such as regulations. 

Legislation is a major source of law. Courts are the other source of law. This video explains the court hierarchy, the jurisdiction of courts and tribunals, and how courts can make new law by interpreting legislation, filling gaps in legislation, and developing the common law when there is no legislation.

Burn video

Watch Burn, a short film for young people about criminal law and group offending. There is also a study guide which explores the film's themes, characters and legal concepts, as well as fact sheets about relevant legal topics.

The Law handbook: your practical guide to the law in NSW 

Find information on all areas of the law relevant to NSW, including the legal system, Aboriginal people and the law, criminal law, dispute resolution, domestic violence, and drug offences. All 40 chapters of the Law handbook are available online.

Hot Topics 

Hot Topics is a plain language series about the law, written by legal experts. The following issues are available:

  • Domestic violence. Looks at the prevalence of domestic violence and the legal framework that deals with offenders and victims, including AVOs.
  • Courts and tribunals. An overview of Australia's court system, federal and state, and how it fits within the legal system. 
  • Voting and elections. Explains the key features of our electoral laws, who can vote, who can stand for election, and how votes are counted.
  • You and your lawyer. Find out about the role of lawyers, how to work with a lawyer, lawyers' duties, ethics, costs and complaints.
  • Australian legal system. An overview of the Australian legal system, covering how law is made, what the law deals with and the roles of the legislature, judiciary and executive.  

Visit your public library

Public libraries have collections of books, magazines, DVDs, ebooks and audio books for children and adults. Free access to the internet is available and public library members can connect to online content from home using their library card.

Find Legal Answers Tool Kit

The Find Legal Answers Tool Kit is a collection of plain English books about the law, covering a variety of topics including debt, family law, fines, wills and estates, and going to court.

You can read the Tool Kit books online [LINK] or visit your local public library to read or borrow the books in hard copy.

Free online databases

Public libraries have free online databases. Many are available to use from home with a library card.

You can find information about the law in online databases including:

  • Gale In Context: Global Issues - find information and commentary on a wide variety of topics.
  • Gale OneFile: News - provides access to more than 2,300 major world newspapers (including Australian publications), and includes thousands of images, radio and TV broadcasts and transcripts.
  • Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints - find information and opposing views about a wide range of topics.