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This guide is designed to support the University of Notre Dame Australia community identify essential legal research resources.


When starting legal research, it can be useful to begin with secondary resources. This includes encyclopedias and dictionaries, books, journal articles and commentaries. These will point you to relevant primary resources including case law and legislation. 

Summary of Legal Research

Notre Dame Australia Schools of Law have generally adopted the IRAC (Issue, Rule, Application and Conclusion) approach for legal analysis & hypothetical legal problems.

  • Read the question: Use IRAC to identify
    • Issue(s): What happened? Who did it happen to? Where did it happen? What is the area of law? 
    • Rules/Relevant Law: Identify relevant case law and legislation, focusing on legal principles. 
    • Application: Apply the law to the facts and develop legal arguments
    • Conclusion: Stand back and play 'judge', choose the argument that you think is strongest and justify why