As The Laws of Australia (TLA) marks its 21st birthday this year, we take a look at 21 things you may not know about your favourite compendium of legal principles. With unparalleled breadth and accessibility, TLA is the essential reference library for the 21st century Australian lawyer. So let’s raise a glass and take a look at 21 TLA titbits…
1. The Laws of Australia has approximately 36,500 commentary pages across all volumes.
2. If you placed all pages of The Laws of Australia side by side, they would stretch over 17 kilometres.
3. The Laws of Australia features over 42,000 legal propositions.
4. It consists of more than 320 subtitles, and is updated constantly in line with legislative developments.
5. You can download up to 150 numbered paragraphs in one go as a PDF – perfect for researching your next case.
6. In 2013, The Laws of Australia was cited in 13 Australian judgments. Over the past 21 years, it has been cited in more than 200 judgments.
7. More than 400 authors contribute to the encyclopaedia.
8. The Sydney building where The Laws of Australia is produced was once a wool-packing warehouse.
9. It reads like a “who’s who” of prominent legal authors and advisors – including a former Governor-General, the late Sir Zelman Cowen and the Hon Michael Kirby.
11. The Sydney based editorial team at The Laws of Australia is made up of seven legally trained editors who are experts in their fields.
12. It took the editorial team almost 16,500 hours to edit and publish the 2013 manuscript.
13. A mathematical formula is used to help commission and update the 36,500 pages of commentary.
14. Upcoming new subtitles include Animal Law, Internet Law and Terrorism Offences.
15. The “Cited Documents” tab lists all cases, legislation and journal articles referenced in a particular paragraph.
16. Commentary may include addresses for government and other organisation websites, which can be used for gathering further information.
17. Case citations link to FirstPoint records, providing further information about those cases.
18. Individual words, phrases, cases, legislation and legal principles can be searched across The Laws of Australia Online using the advanced search.
19. You can view footnotes quickly by hovering the mouse over the footnote number. Clicking on the footnote link takes you to the bottom of the page.
20. The Laws of Australia may include references to explanatory memoranda for new bills. These provide insight into government legislative intentions, which can be useful for arguing for particular interpretations of legislation provision.
21. TLA’s largest subtitles are Aviation (922 pages) and Environmental Harm* (584 pages).
From all of us in the legal fraternity: Happy 21st Birthday, The Laws of Australia!
We celebrated the 21st Birthday of The Laws of Australia at the beginning of September in Sydney with guest of honour, The Hon Michael Kirby! Check out our full birthday album from the night and spot our special guests.