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Every Issue

Cite as: October 2012 86 (10) LIJ, p.60.

This month's reviews cover Australian legislation, intellectual property, the Magistrates' Court website, a UN agency, High Court email alerts and Victorian planning schemes.

Lawlex

http://my.lawlex.com.au

This month the reviewer has included the Lawlex website, even though it requires a subscription to source its Premium Research service, as it does contain sections that can be accessed free of charge. Lawlex can assist with searching for copies of Acts and Regulations in all Australian states and territories. The free to use “Search Legislation” option from the home page works as an interface between you and the internet, providing links to the appropriate websites in the results (if they are available online). The links can include current and historical versions of an Act, second reading speeches and Explanatory Memoranda. For LIV members the library can assist with providing information from the Lawlex Premium Research service through its subscription. This service includes Bill tracking and commencement information.

IP Australia

www.ipaustralia.gov.au

IP Australia, a prescribed agency within the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education is responsible for administering legislation for the four intellectual property rights – patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights. The agency’s website provides general information about the different types of intellectual property rights that exist for an individual as well as how it applies for commercial and Crown purposes. It also outlines the different types of protection afforded under various legislation and what specifically can be protected under such categories as copyright, circuit layout rights, trade secrets and domain names. The site is a good reference point for background information on how intellectual property rights are defined and administered in Australia and what process to undertake when those rights have been infringed.

Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au

It’s worth taking another look at the Magistrates’ Court website, recently given an upgrade in June and with additional features such as RSS Feeds added to the site. Incidentally the website also notifies that the Court’s Twitter account was launched in July for those who wish to follow them and receive information updates. A highlight of the site is the FAQ links from the home page, designed to make it easier to source information on a topic. Once in the FAQ section for that topic there is additional information including related links to the relevant forms that can then be downloaded. If you are after a Practice Direction or publication you can find a tab on a home page that links you to a list that can be filtered by title.

WIPO

www.wipo.int

WIPO is the World Intellectual Property Organization, a UN agency charged with (among other things) helping to develop the international legal IP framework. Insites reviewed the WIPO domain name dispute resolution services in 2010, but this time around we would like to draw your attention to WIPO Lex. Accessed from the main site under “Resources”, WIPO Lex is a “one-stop search facility for national laws and treaties” for member countries. Searching for relevant foreign law is easy: first select the country (e.g. Angola) and then use the menu to select the subject (e.g. trademarks). The results returned are fairly broad, so don’t expect to be presented with the “Trademark Act of Angola” in one click, but you will be given a page containing all relevant legislation and treaties as a starting point.

High Court Alerts

http://tinyurl.com/buoex2g

The High Court of Australia has three informative email alert services that can be subscribed to from the above URL allowing you to track important High Court cases from inception until completion. Case Summaries/Short Particulars provides background information on cases that are to be heard by the Court; the Judgment Delivery Notification gives advance notice of decisions that are scheduled to be handed down; and Judgment Summaries provides brief overviews of decisions reached by the Court. This being the highest court of appeal in the land, you can safely subscribe to all three without too much risk of your inbox being overloaded. The emails are short and to the point, meaning you can quickly assess their relevancy and either click through for further details or hit delete and move on.

Planning Schemes Online

http://planningschemes.dpcd.vic.gov.au

Victoria’s planning schemes (both metropolitan and rural) are available online via the Department of Planning and Community Development website. The site has been around for a while now, and subsequently uses a now quite out of fashion (if you hang with the hipster-designer crowd) “click on this part of the map to select this municipality” navigation scheme. This reviewer’s advice though is to ignore this and just jump to the correct municipality via the drop-down menus. You will feel much more “with it” doing it this way, and you also won’t need a photographic memory for Victorian municipal borders just to get yourself to Yarriambiack. From there, it is simple to view a particular provision or get details of zone requirements. A great service that is also available as an iPhone app.

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