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Every Issue

Cite as: September 2013 87 (9) LIJ, p.70

This month's reviews cover a blog on the High Court of Australia, ASIC publications, domestic and family violence, a dictionary of Australian biographies, information on establishing and managing clubs and not-for-profit organisations, and the LIV Library.

Opinions on High

Melbourne Law School has recently launched a blog focusing solely on the High Court of Australia. The blog features commentary on recent decisions, retrospective analysis of seminal cases (such as the Tasmanian Dam case), and general information about the Court, its purpose and procedures. A law blog focusing on a particular court (as opposed to a particular area of law) is seemingly a first of its kind for Australia, but it does draw inspiration from similar overseas blogs, particularly the well-known SCOTUSblog from the US. Edited by Melbourne Law School faculty, Opinions on High certainly has impeccable credentials. Also worthy of note is the accessibility of the legal writing, all published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial licence, allowing you to share and adapt its content for further use.

ASIC publications

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) site is worth adding to your favourites tab for easy access to a large number of its forms and publications. First, the information sheets, provided alphabetically or by reference number, contain practical information for companies on process and procedure as well as compliance requirements. You can also access guides, including regulatory guides for regulated entities, as well as all class orders issued by ASIC which outline information for a class of person conducting particular activities. If you are unsure which guides may be relevant, you can search the roadmap index by topic to find appropriate subject material. You can also easily locate an ASIC form by using the search box. The forms can be searched by number, keyword or topic and are free to download.

Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse

The Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse website is an excellent resource to view material on work done in the field of domestic and family violence. Its aim is to provide up to date research on the topic as well as bring news on relevant legislation, policy changes and any significant initiatives. The site contains links to newsletters and information sheets as well as issue and stakeholders papers. Conference papers dating back to 2001 are also hosted on the site. For legal professionals, the policy and legislation tab contains links by state to relevant legislation and publications about that legislation and are available with either full text or as an indexed record with abstract. The indexed record contains information on how you can obtain a copy.

Australian Dictionary of Biography

If you are looking for information on a prominent historical legal professional or law maker, then conduct a search on the Australian Dictionary of Biography. You might be surprised by how comprehensive it is. Individuals are added based on the significance they have played in Australia’s history and come from all walks of life. Its first volume was published in 1966 and it continues to grow – its last added volume is “18” which covers the period of 1981-1990 (based chronologically on the individual’s death). From a legal standpoint it currently lists 259 judges, 534 barristers and 329 solicitors, with 101 prisoners also included. Each entry has a biography which may be quite detailed, while some records also have a photograph or image attached. For further reading, selected biographies are also supplied.

Clubs and not-for-profits

Consumer Affairs Victoria has developed a useful sub-site which contains information on setting up or managing a club or not-for-profit association. The site, while intended for the layperson or association committee member, is also eminently useful to the legal practitioner not familiar with this area. It details the basic legal requirements for running such organisations, the duties of committee members and the steps required for its voluntary winding up. Even for the solicitor who is familiar with the basic facts of the law, the site offers a convenient repository of handy forms such as annual statements, association incorporation applications and forms to submit various change of address details which can often be hard to find in traditional legal forms and precedents resources.

LIV Library

Now wait just a minute . . . before you accuse us of honking our own horn, the LIV Library catalogue has recently undergone a major upgrade that is indeed worthy of another review. Without getting too technical, the major change you should be aware of is the installation of a new search index that has resulted in vastly improved results which are more intelligently ranked according to their relevance. Another improvement to the catalogue is that you can now filter your results after you have performed the search. A good practice is to be as general as possible at first, and if you get too many results, start filtering. You can filter by type (e.g. LIJ Articles), year (e.g. 2013) and also subject (e.g. Matrimonial Property). Now, was that so painful?

Reviews are provided by the LIV library, ph 9607 9360; email

We welcome suggestions for websites, apps and blogs to include in this column.

Neither the LIV nor the LIJ in any way endorses or takes any responsibility whatsoever for any material contained on external sites referred to by the LIJ.


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