Legal alerts allow you to stay up to date in your area of interest, notifying you of the latest judgments, legislative developments, and changes to resources. This guide lists free alert services.
Legislation alerts allow you to be notified of new bills on subject areas; new and amended legislation and regulations; and commencement and repeal updates.
- Law Library of Victoria – Library Bulletin
- Law Library of Victoria – Recent Victorian Legislation
Lists of recent Victorian Acts and Bills.
- Victorian Legislation Update
Does not provide an alert service, but it does provide a 'what’s new' update on the website, displaying the latest versions of Victorian legislation.
- TimeBase National Legislation Newsletter
Provides a selection of topical or general interest national legislation updates curated by an editorial team.
Register for free to create alerts (the free account does not give you access to all alerts or features). JADE also offers RSS feeds for legislation from all Australian states.
Create an alert using the Act title
- Under My JADE – Alerts click 'create a new alert'
- Enter the Act title
- Select the frequency and click save.
Create an alert using the citation report
- Navigate to the Act and display
- Click 'citation report' from the green CaseTrace box on the right
- Select 'alert when this statute changes' (for amendments)
- Set frequency and click Save.
- Federal Register of Legislation
Register for free to create alerts.
How to create a new alert
- Under My Account click 'add new subscription'
- Enter the Act title, unique ID, or refine by selecting the legislation type or the portfolio
- Select the events you wish to be notified of
- Click 'use this query for your subscription'
- Click save.
Alerts are a great way to keep informed of case law and recent judgments.
- HCA unreported judgments
- VSC and VSCA unreported judgments
- County Court unreported judgments
- Magistrates' Court judgments
Register for free to create alerts (the free account does not give you access to all alerts or features). JADE also offers RSS feeds for courts from all Australian states.
How to create a keyword alert for cases
Under My JADE - Alerts click 'create a new alert'
Add keywords, catchwords, or phrases,
Create an alert by court
Select JADE Browser
Under Judgments select 'by court'
Select collection, eg, High Court of Australia
Click 'save this search' near top left corner
Name the search
- High Court of Australia – Judgment Summaries and Bulletin
- High Court of Australia – Overseas Decisions Bulletin
Free weekly case law update for UK cases, with links to case summaries (full text reports require a subscription).
RSS feeds are available on the landing page for case databases (all jurisdictions).
Create an alert using RSS
- Navigate to the case law database you wish to follow, eg, Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal
- Scroll to bottom of the 'most recent' page
- Click 'subscribe to database feed' in bottom right corner of page
- Follow prompts to add RSS feed.
- Victorian Reports
The Victorian Reports produce an email alert advising when a part is published, a volume is published, a group of cases are selected for reporting, or when reported cases are subsequently cited in Australian and selected international decisions.
Registration is free but access to the full text of reported cases is only available via subscription. Once logged in, under My Account, click Notifications, and choose which items to subscribe to.
Many websites and databases allow you to set up RSS alerts (called an ‘RSS feed’). RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. An RSS feed is an easy way to be informed if there is new content on a website.
There are two main ways of creating an RSS feed: through the web browser and through a reader. Outlook email provides an RSS reader. Note that RSS feeds are not supported by Google Chrome - you need to be using a browser such as Firefox, Explorer or Safari.
RSS via web browser
Many browsers have built in feed readers or alternatively you can sign up for a free web based reader like FeedReader, Feedly, Netvibes, etc. Once you have decided on your reader, make sure you are logged in or have the browser open, and simply click on the RSS icon on the webpage you want to receive RSS feeds from. Then click on "Subscribe to this Feed" and follow the prompts.
RSS via Outlook
If you are using Microsoft Outlook email, you can have feeds sent automatically to your RSS feed folder. For more information and help on setting this up, see the Microsoft RSS help webpage or watch this YouTube video.
There are many news feeds to assist in keeping up to date.
- ABC legal news
- ABC Law Report
- The Australian legal affairs – subscribe to the Business Review alert or follow on Facebook or Twitter.
- Parliament of Victoria news
- New Zealand Law Society news
- Google Alerts (requires Gmail). Tips for creating effective Google Alerts.
- Wolters Kluwer blog – choose from employment, legal, tax or accounting blogs.
- Government media releases – The Victorian government regularly issues media releases on new legislation and legislative developments. These are not at set intervals, but emailed to you as they occur. You can select multiple areas of interest (by department), but media releases cover all government announcements, not just legislation, and so you will receive anything relating to that department.
Social media is a great platform for alerts. Here are some suggestions for accounts to follow:
- The Law Library of Victoria – @LawLibraryVic
Tweets latest VSCA judgments, retweets other legal organisations.
- AustLII – @austlii
Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII). For 25 years the most popular online free-access resource for Australian legal information.
- Judicial College of Victoria – @JudicialCollege
Providing education and publications for the Victorian judiciary.
- Law Institute of Victoria – @yourLIV
The LIV is a non-profit organisation dedicated to advocating for the Victorian legal profession and wider community.
- AIC – @AICriminology
The Australian Institute of Criminology is Australia's national research and knowledge centre on crime and justice.
- Sentencing Council Victoria – @SACvic
Research, statistics and education about sentencing in Victoria. Tweets about relevant criminal justice matters.
- Opinions on High – @opinionsonhigh
The Melbourne Law School High Court Blog aims to provide a public forum for discussion of the judicial decisions of the High Court of Australia.
- Crime Statistics Agency – @CrimeStatsVic
Provides statistics, research and information about crime in Victoria, to Victoria.
- Victoria Legal Aid – @VicLegalAid
We help people with their legal problems. We focus on protecting the rights of Victorians and representing people who need it the most.
- Lawyers Weekly – @LawyersWeekly
Breaking news and updates from Australia's premier legal news source.
- Jeremy Gans – @jeremy_gans
Author of 'The Ouija Board Jurors', amongst other things. Tweets on VIC cases, changes to legislation, very prolific.
- Paul McGorrery – @paulmcgorrery
PhD candidate in criminal law and family violence at @DeakinLaw. Admitted lawyer (AUS + NY, USA). Tweets on VIC cases, changes to legislation, prolific.
- ALRC – @AusLawReform
We tweet but don't endorse relevant media items.
- High Court of Australia – @HighCourtofAus
- Family Court of Australia – @FamilyCourtAU
- Federal Circuit Court – @FedCctCourtAU
- Supreme Court of Victoria – @SCVSupremeCourt
- County Court of Victoria – @CountyCourtVic
- Magistrates' Court of Victoria – @MagCourtVic
Keep up to date on latest trends and research via publications such as books, commentary, reports, guides, statistics and fact sheets.
- Australian Institute of Criminology – type in box to browse publications. Or go the Subscribe page to sign up for alerts.
- Sentencing Advisory Council – Go to ‘Contact us’, select ‘Feedback and general enquiries’, then request to be added to the mailing list.
- Trove – Search by topic, e.g. human rights and jurisprudence, scroll to bottom of results and click on ‘Subscribe to this web feed'.
- Legal publishers, e.g. Federation Press – Select all titles or specific subject alerts.