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Canadian Legal Research

This guide details researching Canadian law at the federal and provincial level.

Background Materials and General Sources

If you would like to browse our Canadian law collection, it is located on the upper level of the Wolff Library under call number KE. For a more complete list of books by legal subject, see Chapter 8 "Legal Research by Topic" in Legal Research & Writing (2004) by T. Tjaden.

  • Canadian Legal System (5th edition) INTL KE444 .G34 2004
    An accessible overview of the Canadian legal system, from the roles of judges and lawyers, to the British influence to hierarchy of both the Federal and provincial courts.
  • Introduction to the Study of Law (6th edition) INTL KE445 .W3 2004
    Presents the Canadian legal system, sources of the law and the difference between private and public law in the Canadian context.
  • Looking at Law : Canada's Legal System (5th edition) INTL KE444 .F5 2000
    A basic overview of Canada's legal system, with a review of the sources of Canadian law.
  • Legal Writing and Research Manual (6th edition) INTL REF KE250 .Y63 2004
    Written for the first year Canadian law student, an overview of Canadian legal materials as well as how research, write and cite in a legal memorandum in Canada.
  • Legal Research and Writing (2nd edition) INTL KE250.T53 2004
    An in depth focus on Canadian legal research for both the beginner and those who are familiar with the topic and need a more detailed discussion.
  • Canadian Encyclopedic Digest are actually two digests, the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest, Western covering the Western provinces and the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest Ontario covering Ontario. There are older print copies of the two encyclopedias respectively INTL KE 156.2 .C35 1979 andINTL KE O71 .C36 2008 at the Wolff library. The encyclopedias are organized by topics and access is usually through the general index located in the first volume. Researchers can use the "key" section which provide, access via statute section or via rules and regulations sections. Within each topic (called titles), there is commentary with cases, statutes, and regulations. Both encyclopedias provide information on federal Canadian law.
    These two encyclopedias are combined in Westlaw (Georgetown Law Only) in the CED (Georgetown Law Only) database. The "Table of Contents" is the most efficient way to locate commentary on cases, statutes, and regulations by topic for both for an individual province and at the federal level.