Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Its official languages are English and French. The federal government operates on a bilingual basis. Its bicameral parliament meets in Ottawa.
Each Canadian province has its own unicameral legislature. Common law prevails at the federal level and in nine of Canada's ten provinces. The French-speaking province of Québec has a mixed system of civil law and common law in which civil law predominates.
The Georgetown Law Library's extensive collection of Canadian legal materials is located on the fifth floor of the Williams Library. All of these materials have call numbers that be begin with the letters KE.
Key Resources for Canadian Legal Research
- Justice Laws Website
The website of Canada's Department of Justice provides free online access to federal statutes currently in force (Consolidated Acts), federal session laws (Annual Statutes), and federal regulations currently in force (Consolidated Regulations).
- Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)
This comprehensive Web portal provides free online access to both federal and provincial statutes, regulations, and case law. Dates of coverage vary, depending on the content type.
Lexis has consolidated statutes and regulations at the federal level and for all Canadian provinces and territories, with the exception of Nunavut. Lexis also provides access to federal and provincial case law, including Nunavut, as well as a selection of Canadian law reviews and journals. Dates of coverage for case law vary by court and by jurisdiction.
Academic subscribers to Westlaw may access Canadian federal statutes and regulations, in both English and French, as well as provincial statutes and regulations for all ten provinces and three territories. Westlaw also has federal and provincial case law and a selection of secondary sources on Canadian law. Dates of coverage for case law vary by court and by jurisdiction.