Flinders University Library
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Information Types - Law

Explanatory memoranda

What are explanatory memoranda?
Why should I use EMs?
Where can I find EMs?
Do all jurisdictions have EMs? If not, where else can I look for similar information?

 

What are explanatory memoranda?

An explanatory memorandum is a document issued with a Bill to explain the aims and operation of the proposed legislation.

 

Why should I use EMs?

You can use EMs to help interpret legislation.

 

Where do I find EMs?

You can generally find EMs where you find Bills

  • on Parliamentary websites - e.g. SA Legislation, ComLaw
  • on legislation websites - e.g. AustLII, LawOne

You can find links to Bills on the Legislation Search Smart Guide.

 

Do all jurisdictions have EMs? If not, where else can I look for similar information?

Not all jurisdictions publish EMs - e.g. South Australia generally does not provide an EM.

You can find similar information in the second reading speech in Hansard. During this speech, the minister who introduced the Bill will generally outline in detail the purpose of the Bill.