Canadian Legal Research

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

Getting Started with Secondary Sources

If you are unfamiliar with a particular aspect of Canadian law, start your research with a secondary source.  In addition to providing background information, explanatory analysis, and commentary, secondary sources will help you to identify statutes, case law, and other primary legal materials that are relevant to your topic.

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 begin with the letters KE. Listed below and in the column to the right are a selection of introductory sources on Canadian law, as well as a selection of in-depth treatises and practice guides.

Selected Introductory Resources

  • The Canadian System of Justice, 5th ed., Call No. KE444 .A85 2020.  Provides the foundational knowledge needed to understand how Canadian laws are made, implemented, and enforced at both the federal and provincial levels.
  • Introduction to the Canadian Legal System, Call No.  KE444 .B27 2015.  Provides an overview of Canada's parliamentary and judicial systems, plus introductory coverage of administrative law, criminal law, contracts, torts, family law, and human rights.
  • Introduction to the Law and Legal System of Canada, Call No.: REF KE444 .M33 2013. Traces the development of Canada's modern constitution, governmental structure, and court system by emphasizing the historical forces that shaped them.
  • Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (CED) Online
    This comprehensive legal encyclopedia covers both statutory and case law in Ontario and in the four western provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.  Browse by subject or search by keyword.

Canadian Legal Research Guides

Find More Books on Canadian Law

To locate additional resources on Canadian law from the Georgetown Law Library's collection, use the Advanced Search and select Law Library Catalog.  For greater precision, search by subject for the word Canada in the first line.  Enter a keyword or exact phrase in the second line.  For example:

Use the pre-search filters on the right to restrict the search by date, if desired.

Selected Treatises & Practice Guides

Canadian Legal Treatises on Westlaw

Westlaw offers academic users a selection of treatises on Canadian law, some of which are national in scope and some of which focus on the law of a particular province.  Subjects covered include criminal law, estates, family law, insolvency, intellectual property, litigation, and securities.