Go to top of page

Library and information services

The library provides a comprehensive library and information service to judges, registrars and staff of the Federal Court, Family Court and Federal Circuit Court, and members and staff of the National Native Title Tribunal.

The library collection consists of print and electronic materials and is distributed nationally, with qualified librarians in each state capital except Hobart, Canberra and Darwin. Services to Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory are provided by staff in the Victorian, New South Wales and South Australian libraries, respectively.

In Sydney, Federal Court judges and staff are supported by the New South Wales Law Courts Library under a Heads of Agreement between the Federal Court and the New South Wales Department of Justice. The terms of this Agreement are renegotiated each year to reflect changing circumstances.

Although primarily legal in nature, the library collection includes material on Indigenous history and anthropology to support the native title practice areas, and material on children and families to support the family consultants. Details of items held in the collection are publicly available through the Library Catalogue and Native Title Infobase, which are accessible from the Federal Court website. The library’s holdings are also added to Libraries Australia and Trove making them available for interlibrary loan nationally and internationally.

The library is a foundation member of the Australian Courts Consortium for a shared library management system using SirsiDynix software. Consortium membership expanded during the year and now includes all but four Australian jurisdictions.

Services have been provided remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, with protocols implemented to ensure hardcopy collections remain accessible. Changes to COVID-19 related legislation from all Australian states and territories were tracked by a team of librarians each day from the beginning of the pandemic and details published on the Federal Court website providing a valuable snapshot of restrictions at any point in time.

Assistance to the Asia Pacific region

A shipment of books was dispatched to the Supreme Court of Vanuatu and the library in Brisbane continued to provide advice and assistance to the National and Supreme Courts of Papua New Guinea to develop their library collections and services.