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Resources

View key reports and relevant governance documents relating to the AGLS on our Publications page.

View online training opportunities offered by a range of organisations.

Legal resources

Legal resources

The Federal Register of Legislation (the legislation register) is the authorised whole-of-government website for Commonwealth legislation and related documents. It contains the full text and details of the lifecycle of individual laws and the relationships between them.

The legislation register is managed by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in accordance with the Legislation Act 2003.

Key legislation:

The Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) publishes public legal information. This includes primary legal materials (legislation, treaties and decisions of courts and tribunals) and secondary legal materials created by public bodies (law reform and royal commission reports) as well as Australasian law journals. It also provides a searchable index of legal web sites from around the world.

The World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) contains more than 270 databases from 48 jurisdictions in 20 countries in its initial release. Databases of case law, legislation, treaties, law reform reports, law journals and other materials are included.

Other resources

Other resources

The Office of Legal Services Coordination (OLSC) in the Attorney-General’s Department administers the Legal Services Directions 2017 (the directions), which are made by the Attorney-General under the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth). The directions apply to all non-corporate Commonwealth entities. Certain provisions of the directions apply to corporate Commonwealth entities by virtue of paragraph 12.3.

The OLSC page on the Attorney-General’s Department website hosts information on the legal services directions and more.

The OLSC assists Commonwealth entities to comply with their obligations under the directions by providing support, guidance and training.

The OLSC administers the directions including through managing the reporting and compliance frameworks and preparing guidance notes. The OLSC also supports the Attorney-General in his role as First Law Officer to oversee and manage Commonwealth legal risk.

The OLSC does not provide legal advice, but works with agencies to share information on whole of government issues, and promote best practice for the active management of legal risk across the Commonwealth.

The Legal Services Panel Portal enables Australian Government agencies to efficiently purchase external legal services from the Whole of Australian Government Legal Services Panel or the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS).

Agencies with access to the panel can participate in professional development provided by legal service providers such as conferences, online masterclasses, seminars and training sessions.

The Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) plays a special role in the Commonwealth’s legal services landscape.

While the AGS was not required to tender for the Legal Services Panel, agencies are able to obtain legal services from the AGS alongside panel firms. Agencies may choose to engage the AGS for any work at any time. To make things easier, the ability to engage the AGS has been incorporated into the Legal Services Panel Portal, making it your one-stop-shop for legal services providers.

Distinct from panel firms, the AGS operates as the central Commonwealth in-house legal services provider, with particular expertise in areas of law closely related to Commonwealth powers and activities. This emphasised role as a centre of excellence for the Commonwealth reflects the AGS’s special role in supporting the First Law Officer and Second Law officer and the Commonwealth more generally. The 2017 Secretary’s Review recognised that the AGS is the central in-house provider of legal services to the Commonwealth whose core purpose is to enable the government to achieve its objectives. This role allows them to contribute to the effective management of Commonwealth legal risk.

In particular, AGS lawyers will join other Commonwealth agency in-house lawyers as members of the AGLS. Within this context, the AGS will play a central role in enhancing the coordination and consistency of legal approaches across the Commonwealth.

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