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The Australian Digest - ever-evolving and nimble

Content updates

The Cases Team, who create content for Firstpoint on Westlaw, are very proud of the way our Australian Digest classification scheme is designed to be agile and responsive to changes in the legal landscape. Every year we undertake a process to ensure all the titles in our scheme are up to date and that our taxonomy is expanding in a way that accurately reflects both current developments in case law and changes to legislation. As you can imagine, the most reactive titles are those areas of the law that are policy-driven and vulnerable to shifting governments.

A classic example of this is Citizenship & Migration.

There have been many changes to Migration Law over the past few years. In 2015, the Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal were amalgamated into the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. In 2016, Safe Haven Enterprise Visas were introduced and the Fast Track Review process radically altered the way in which protection visas were dealt with, as well as the type of review process available to refugees. Current case law developments continue around such issues as detention of refugees and removal from detention centres for medical purposes, complementary protection visas, and non-refoulement obligations as a consideration when cancelling visas on character grounds. The Migration Act 1958 (Cth) is also modified in important ways every year.

For a legal taxonomy to be truly useful to a legal researcher or practitioner, it needs to properly reflect these kinds of changes. The fact that the Australian Digest scheme is improved upon and updated by legally qualified editors each year, means it can be depended on as being both current and thorough. Over the last 3 years, a total of 108 new subheadings have been researched, created and added to our Migration classification range alone. In this way, every year we have an abundance of new subheadings to classify cases to, across the full range of our 79 titles that cover all areas of law. Not only does this keep the Cases Team on our toes and enable us to keep up with the ever-evolving law, but it also brings greater satisfaction to the task of classification.

Since our Australian Digest classification scheme is so detailed and comprehensive, and is updated constantly, it reflects the developments in Australian law more than any other comparable legal taxonomy on the market. As a legal research tool, it is most certainly our greatest asset.

By Dolma Gunther

Dolma Gunther is a Legal Editor on the Cases Digest Team at Thomson Reuters.

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