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Dictionaries and encyclopaedias

Legal dictionaries explain legal words and phrases as legally defined in legislation and case law.  They can be used to find preliminary information, synonyms and identify the area of law. They may also identify key primary resources and should be used as a first point of call in your legal research journey.

Whereas, encyclopedias provide brief descriptions on the areas of law and therefore, builds on your knowledge of the topic.

You can either browse the content headings, or select an area of law and do a keyword search to find relevant material on your topic.


  • LexisNexis Concise Australian Legal Dictionary  The fifth edition of this indispensable reference work contains over 10,000 terms in 100 subject areas.  It has been reviewed, updated and expanded by a large team of legal experts from across Australia.  Hamer at Syd Uni; Finkelstein is at Monash University.