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LAW Canadian Cases and Decisions

This guide is intended to help researchers locate cases and decisions and provide links to sources for Canadian Federal as well as Alberta and the other provinces and territories case law.

Canadian Cases and Decisions

This guide is intended to help researchers locate cases and decisions. The tabs found above will open pages that provide links to sources for Canadian Federal as well as Alberta and the other provinces and territories case law. Legal databases may be restricted to University of Calgary users or to Faculty of Law users.

Finding Cases

A case is a decision made by a court or an administrative body. Released cases are made available to be published in case law reports. Although every judicial decision is documented not every case gets published (reported) so not every case is searchable.

Reported cases may be located by topic, case name or citation. Citations may be found in books or articles.Topical digests may provide headnotes that provide useful subject headings for finding cases on point. Cases can be located on legal databases using their citation. Case judgements may also be published directly by the court or administratve body where the decision was made.

If an unreported decision is not published by the court, the courthouse to may be asked to perform a file search for a fee.

Searching in print for cases

Once you have the title of the case reporter, search for it in the library catalogue to determine availability and location. Law report series may be available in print or electronically.

Print case reporters are located on the law library 1st floor. They include all general and many topical reporters for Canada, as well as some international and foreign reporters too.

Canadian Case Citations give standardized case names, available citations of decisions, case histories and judicial treatments. They are located in the law library reference collection (KE173 .C4345)

Searching online databases for cases

Search for cases on a topic or legal issue by doing a keyword search, similar to searching on an internet search engine, in any of the databases below. You can limit the search to a particular province, jurisdiction or court.

If you know the name of the case or have the case's citation from a book, article or website, you can use that information as your search terms. For help understanding citations and information about citing cases please go to the LAW Legal Citation Cheat Sheet.

There are several electronic databases with links to case reports:

Administrative Bodies

Different levels of government authorize Officials, Agencies, Boards, Commissions and Tribunals. These quasi-judicial bodies often make their decisions available through their own websites. The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) also makes decisions from some boards accessible for free on the internet.

Administrative decisions may also be found using WestlawCanada or Quicklaw. Look for links in the Searching Online Databases for Cases box.

Legal citation

For help understanding citations and information about citing cases, please go to the LAW Legal Citation (McGill Guide) Cheat Sheet .

For help interpreting abbreviations, we suggest the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations.

Bennett Jones Law Library

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Bennett Jones Law Library
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