Skip to main content

New library search launched! View new library borrowing privileges »

LAW Legal Citation (McGill Guide) Quick Reference

Intended to be a quick reference for footnoting some common types of citations for Canadian legal publications.


The 7th & 8th Editions of the McGill Guide prefers the use of neutral citation for cases whenever possible. This standard began between 1997 and 2006 depending on the court. Therefore, citations to cases prior to 1997 do not have neutral citations. Details for Canadian jurisdictional abbreviations are found in Appendix A, page A-5. Canadian Court and Tribunal abbreviations are found in Appendix B2, pages A-15 through A-25. To build a neutral citation: YYYY Abbreviation ### (e.g., 2010 ABPC 229). Specific neutral citation examples in English can be found in Appendix B-3, pp. A-25 through A-27.


Here are some Canadian case citation examples to get you started (Chapter 3):

R v Cole, 2012 SCC 53 at 67, [2012] 3 SCR 34.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation v Keegstra (1986), 77 AR 249, 35 DLR (4th) 76 (CA).

CCH Canadian Ltd v Law Society of Upper Canada, 2004 SCC 13, [2004] 1 SCR 339 at para 8 (CanLII).

Tommy Hilfiger Licensing Inc v International Clothiers Inc, 2004 FCA 252, [2005] 1 FCR 148.

Here are some Foreign case citation examples to get you started (Chapter 7, then by country):

Tulk v Moxhay, [1848] 1 H & Tw 105.

Massachusetts v Environmental Protection Agency, (2007) 549 US 497, 127 S Ct 1438.

Here is an International case citation example to get you started (Chapter 5.2):

Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v United States of America) [1986] ICJ Rep No 14.

Print Reporters

Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Artists v Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (1990), 91 CLLC 16 (CLRB).

Online Decisions


VDN Cable Inc, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, Toronto, Ontario (January 2005), 2005-1, online: CRTC <>.

Unpublished Cases (Chapter 3.8)

Only cite a case to on-line resources, such as Quicklaw or Westlaw, if there is no print source or neutral citation available.

R v Syncrude Canada Ltd, 2010 ABPC 154, 2010 CarswellAlta 981 (WL Can).

Alberta Citation of Authorities

The Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta issues a Notice to the Profession for Citation of Authorities. This is NP#2013-06 and was released on November 12, 2013.

Print Page