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insites (web)

Every Issue

Cite as: (2005) 79(4) LIJ, p. 58

This month we bring you the 2005 Law Calendar, the Supreme Court library catalogue, a consumer resource centre, a dictionary, a translator and trust accounts information.

Law Calendar 2005

From the homepage of the Department of Justice site, follow the links on the left of the screen to Courts and Tribunals and then Law Calendar. The Law Calendar provides contact and sitting details for Victorian and commonwealth courts, VCAT and other related agencies. Be aware that the calender is not updated throughout the year. You can either download the complete calendar or you can access the information in the following sections:

  • Victorian Parliament and government contacts;
  • the Department of Justice organisational chart;
  • courts and tribunals contact information, sittings, circuits and fixtures;
  • commonwealth agency contact information, sittings and circuits;
  • professional boards and associations and service organisations; and
  • a map of court locations across Victoria.

Supreme Court library

The Supreme Court library’s catalogue, unreported judgments database and articles database are now available online. Databases will be updated fortnightly. The library’s unreported judgment collection is also being scanned in order to provide free web access to the full text documents. Many judgments (mostly those pre-1992 and post-2004) are already available in full text (in PDF). The remaining judgments are being added to the site gradually. In the meantime they can always be accessed in the library. Searching is easy – the site records a history of your past searches and you can limit your search by year. It is also possible to “keep” selected results across multiple searches and to view them at the end of your session.

Consumers Online

The self-regulation section of this site provides information for consumers on self-regulation in Australia. Publications here include Benchmarks for Industry-based Customer Dispute Resolution Schemes. Drafted in 1997 by a working group chaired by the Federal Bureau of Consumer Affairs, the benchmarks are intended to guide industry in developing and improving consumer dispute schemes. Other publications review the redress models available to Australian consumers, provide guidance on making enforceable industry codes of conduct, and explain how industry codes of conduct fit into our regulatory framework. The site also provides information on a range of other consumer issues such as mobile phones, buying cars, food additives and labelling.

Word/reference junkies should pay this site a visit. You can search for definitions across multiple databases, including Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) and the CIA World Factbook. Our favourite feature is the add-on for Microsoft Internet Explorer. A little basic geekiness is required to set it up: go to the Resources page, click on the appropriate “add-on” link (located under the heading Client Software Compiled for Microsoft Windows) and follow the instructions. The add-on enables you to look up words without interrupting your browsing. When you come across an unfamiliar word on the web, you can highlight that word, right mouse click it and then select “dict”. The page will open in a new window where it will display definitions for that word (you may need to scroll down).

Free Translation

If your workplace web filter will not countenance BabelFish, Free Translation may be an accessible alternative. Free Translation allows you to translate from English into a number of European languages, as well as simplified or traditional Chinese (and vice versa). Translation sites work best when the user understands something of the nuances of both the input and output languages. However, without any prior knowledge you should be able to generate a message that is comprehensible (if slightly peculiar sounding) to a native speaker. The other option is to pay a professional translator. Professional document and website translation services are offered through this site. There is an online quote generator for this service.

Trust accounts

The revised trust accounts information on the LIV website can be found under Regulation. It provides a definition of what constitutes trust money and the requirements for firms with trust accounts, including the type of practising certificate needed. Information on banks which are authorised to hold trust accounts, dealing with significant cash transactions, appointing an auditor and completing a trust account audit are covered. The investigation of accounts information outlines the role and purpose of trust account inspectors.

There is also a handy Frequently Asked Questions area that has answers to the most commonly asked trust account questions. The questions and answers are split into three areas: practitioners and their staff; selling, merging, retiring, commencing or dissolving a partnership; and auditors and audits.

Website reviews are provided by the Law Institute library. For more information on legal websites, see the Guide to Legal Internet Sites at


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