28 Tracking Changes in Legislation


It can be valuable to understand how an Act has changed over time. Most Acts indicate these changes using a system of abbreviations.

Table 9: Abbreviations and their meanings
Abbreviation Meaning
ad added
amd (or am) amended
ins inserted
om omitted
renum renumbered
rep repealed

How to track changes

Traditionally, these abbreviations have been used to indicate changes to an Act in the Endnotes or Notes section found at the back of the Act. For Commonwealth Acts, for instance, turn to the Endnotes 4 — Amendment history.

The Amendment history for Section 69P of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) is:

s69P………………….ad. No. 167, 1995; am. No 98, 2005.

This information tells you that:

  • Section 69P was added in 1995 and amended in 2005
  • The Act number and year of assent of the amending legislation.

For a fuller picture of the amendments, find the amending Act (Family Law Amendment Act 2005 No. 98, 2005) using the information provided.

Some websites incorporate the amendment information in a more accessible way. For instance, the Queensland and New South Wales legislation websites allow users to use an option to Turn history notes on to see the amendment history while viewing the Act.


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Legal Research Skills: An Australian Law Guide: 2024 JCU Edition Copyright © 2024 by James Cook University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.