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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Canadian Legal Materials

For a good introduction to Canadian legal research, check out the Best Guide to Canadian Legal Research and/or Researching Canadian Law by Ted Tjaden. Both link to legal materials available online.

For an explanation of Canadian law on a particular subject, use the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (CED), Canada's legal encyclopedia. The CED is available in larger Canadian law libraries. Use the "Western" or "Ontario" edition, as appropriate.

Considerable primary source materials are available in CCH reporters, notably the Canadian Commercial Law Guide (which includes sections on sales contracts, negotiable instruments, bankruptcy, collections, products liability, antitrust, intellectual property, etc.), the Canada Corporations Law Reporter, the Canadian Securities Law Reporter and the Canadian Tax Reports.

If you subscribe, the Foreign Law Guide provides information on Canadian primary legal materials and the treatises available in various subject areas.

For specific materials, here's where to get --

Bills and Bill Tracking: Federal Canadian bills, bill status and related information are posted on LegisInfo. Canadian bills are searchable on Quicklaw and Lexis. Links to provincial bills available online are posted by the Bora Laskin Law Library. LegiCrawler tracks Federal and provincial bills. See also the "Legislative History" section of this entry, below.

Case Law: Links to sites posting Canadian judicial decisions are posted by the Bora Laskin Law Library and the CanLII (the Canadian Legal Information Institute). The Lexis CANADA library has lots of Canadian case law, including the Supreme Court Reports (SCRRCS) and FirstCite - Canadian Case Citator (FIRCIT). Westlaw offers several Federal and provincial case law databases (e.g., CAN-ALLCASES, CAN-ALLFEDS, CAN-ALLPROVINCES). Canada Supreme Court Reports is available on HeinOnline.

Docket Sheets: Dockets are posted online for the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada. See also the separate "Docket Sheets" entry.

Legislative History: For information about Canadian Federal legislative history materials see the the legislative Video Tutorials posted by the British Columbia Courthouse Library Society and/or "Adventures in Canadian Legislative History" in the Winter 2002 issue of Law Library Lights.

Law Libraries: The Canadian Consulate General has a library that's an SLA member. If that doesn't work, try the:

Canadian Supreme Court Library (613-996-8120)

Library and Archives Canada (613-996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777, toll free in Canada and the US)

Canadian Library Association (613-232-9625)

Statutes & Regulations: The Justice Laws Web Site, posted by the Canadian Department of Justice, provides Canada's Consolidated Acts, Consolidated Regulations, Constitutional Documents and Annual Statutes (i.e., Public General Laws). You can also access Acts and Regulations through the CanLII. Additional links are posted on the Bora Lakin Library's Canadian Legislation page. Federal Canadian statutes and regulations are searchable on Lexis in the CANSTA and CANREG files of the CANADA library. If you subscribe, the Digital Session Laws Collection on HeinOnline has Canadian statutes back to 1792.

The Revised Statutes of Canada is the official codification of Canadian laws. There have been revisions in 1886, 1906, 1927, 1952, 1970, and 1985. All revisions are available in HeinOnline as part of the basic subscription.

Links to provincial statutes and regulations are posted by the CanLII. Lexis and Westlaw offer databases for the statutes and regulations of many Canadian provinces.

Annotations to sections of the Quebec Civil Code are published in French in the Code Civil du Quebec Annote.

Canadian tax laws and regulations are available through subscription-based online services by CCH and BNA. CCH offers an Canadian Income Tax Guide Library, a Canadian Provincial Tax Library and a Canadian Tax Reporter Library, all through the Intelliconnect platform. RIA includes Canadian materials in the RIA World Wide Tax Law Service on Checkpoint.

Some Canadian tax materials are available on Lexis in the Worldwide Tax Daily file (TAXANA;TNI); Search "geographic(canada) and ." to limit your search to Canadian documents. On Westlaw, the Canadian Worldwide Tax Daily materials have their own database (WTD-CANADA).

Canadian corporate, investment, labor and employment laws are available in RIA's RIA World Wide Tax Law Service on Checkpoint.

See also the "Legislative History" section of this entry, above.

Treaties: The Canada Treaty Information page provides a searchable record for all Canadian treaties, with full text for many treaties.

For more information on how to find Canadian legal materials, see "Foreign Laws."

See Also
Document Retrieval Services
Doing Business in Foreign Countries
Foreign Laws
Treaties - Foreign
Treaties - U.S.

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman