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LAW Canadian Legislation

This guide is intended to help researchers locate legislation for all Canadian jurisdictions and provide links to sources for other legislative materials

Information about the Canadian Legislation Law Guide

This guide is intended to help students and researchers find resources and best practices for searching Canadian legislation including statues, regulations and bills. It does not include foreign or international legislation. There is a foreign legislation and international law guide you may wish you consult.

Legislative materials in print are located on the 1st floor of the library

Canadian Legislation

Acts (also know as statutes) are passed by the Parliament of Canada and by provincial and territorial legislatures. The laws passed by the Federal government are initially announced in the Canada Gazette, and then published in the Annual Statutes of Canada. The Revised Statutes of Canada are consolidations of current law published periodically by the government of Canada. Laws passed in provinces and territories follow a similar process.

Generally, these are the steps for Canadian legal research:

  1. Start with secondary sources which include encyclopedias, books and journal articles. They provide an overview of the law and background information and give references (citations) to relevant legislation.
  2. Use the library catalogue or the big search box on the main library page to locate books. Search the online catalogue under "subject" with terms "law" and the country's name.
  3. Continue with primary materials including legislation, regulations and cases.
  4. Ensure the law is current.

Legislative synonyms

When dealing with legislative materials, you may find an item is also known by a different name:

  • Hansard = Debates
  • Statutes = Acts = Laws
  • Regulations = Statutory Instruments = Rules = subordinate legislation

 

legislation research guides

Secondary sources for Canadian Legislation

Locating secondary sources is the first step in legal research. They can be helpful by providing useful background information and context and often lead to  relevant case law and legislation.

-The Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (CED)

Canadian Encyclopedic Digest provides a comprehensive statement of the law of Ontario and the four western provinces - provincial, federal and common law - as derived from the case law and legislation. Available electronically on Westlaw or in the library in print (KE 173 C54, Reference). 

-Halsbury's Laws of Canada

Halsbury's is organized in topical volumes, each volume contains a table of contents, table of cases, index, a short bibliography and a glossary of terms. Halsbury's also points out significant cases and statutes for each area of law. Available electronically on Quicklaw (faculty of law only) or in the library in print (KF385 .ZA2 H35, Reference)

Bennett Jones Law Library

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Bennett Jones Law Library
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Subjects:Law