Find Commonwealth, Victorian and state Acts, bills and explanatory memoranda.
Copies of all Victorian acts from 1852 to 1995 can be accessed on the AustLII website. The acts are listed by year and act number, and by name. You can search the acts by title or keyword using the database search option. Once accessed, the text of each individual PDF act can also be searched.
The State Library holds printed copies of the acts of the Victorian Parliament. This includes current and recent acts, and acts from the 19th and early 20th century. Check the links under the 'Available' heading on the record for locations.
Acts and ordinances in force in Victoria, edited by Travers Adamson, helps trace acts prior to 1855/6, including New South Wales acts in force here at that date. It includes a detailed subject index.
A consolidation occurs when all current legislation and statutory instruments:
This makes the newly printed set of the legislation much easier to read and understand.
This is a large undertaking, so consolidations do not occur often.
Consolidations of Victorian acts were done in 1890, 1915, 1929 and 1958. Sets of these consolidations are available in the Redmond Barry Reading Room.
Reprinted acts will incorporate all amendments to an act at the point of reprinting. So it represents the act as it stands at the time of printing.
The State Library holds reprints of acts generally from 1996. In some cases we may hold older reprints.
The law that applies when something happens is the 'law as it is at that time'. Acts are periodically amended by Parliament and you will need to track changes to the law and find the right historical version at the time relevant to the issue you are researching.
As an example, a legal issue from five years ago needs to be researched using the legislation as it was five years ago, not the legislation as it is today, or as it was when the act was originally proclaimed, as this may have been amended.
Locate the most recent version of the act prior to the date you are researching -
If we don't hold the reprint you can access the original act.
Once you have located the most relevant version of the act, you will then need to take into account any subsequent amendments prior to the date you are researching -
You can also do a keyword search on the AustlII database to locate amendments.
Staff at the State Library of Victoria do not offer legal advice. Every effort is made to provide up to date, accurate and relevant legal information but this is not intended to replace qualified legal advice.
The Library is closed from December 25 to January 3. From January 4 2021 we will be partially open to pre-booked and walk-up visitors and our Ask A Librarian service will resume for assistance with your research inquiries online and over the phone.