Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

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 Information Institute (CanLII)
    This non-profit organization provides free online access to primary legal materials (including statutes, regulations, court judgments, and tribunal decisions) from all Canadian jurisdictions, federal and provincial. 
    • Consult the comprehensive List of CanLII Databases for dates of coverage by jurisdiction.  (Case law databases are displayed by default.  For legislative databases, click on the appropriate tab.) 
    • For tips on how to search CanLII databases, download this User Guide.
  • 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 Online  (most current; covers both Ontario & the western provinces)
    Canadian Encyclopedic Digest, Ontario.  INTL KE O71 .C36 2008
    Canadian Encyclopedic Digest, Western.  INTL KE 156.2 .C35 1979
    • This encyclopedia provides comprehensive coverage of federal, provincial, and common law in Ontario and the four western provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. 
    • Organized by "title" (topic), with relevant statutes, regulations, case law, and commentary provided for each title. 
    • To navigate within the online edition, use the Table of Contents on the landing page.  When consulting the print editions, use the General Index located in the first volume.