Canadian Legal Research


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  • Only one more week of class. Then, you’ll have time to work on the research plan. Please come to the lecture next Monday with any questions that you might have (e.g. start thinking of some concerns now & write them down). Westlaw/Lexis Advanced Certification.
  • Canadian Legal Research

    1. 1. CANADIAN LEGAL RESEARCH ALR : International Law February 16, 2004
    2. 2. Introduction to Canadian Law: <ul><li>Judicial system of (1) Provincial Courts and (2) Federal Courts. </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Court of Limited Jurisdiction. </li></ul><ul><li>Constitution / Statutes / Judicial Review. </li></ul><ul><li>A useful introduction to Canadian law and legal institutions is: G.L. Gall, The Canadian Legal System (KE444.G34.1995). </li></ul>
    3. 3. Finding Canadian Caselaw: <ul><li>Provinces are responsible for the administration of justice, organization of their court systems, and appointment of judges to lower courts. </li></ul><ul><li>Supreme Court of Canada (final court of appeal for fed’l/provincial courts – Criminal/Civil). </li></ul><ul><li>Provincial court systems vary in structure & name, although most have a Ct. of Appeal and various lower courts. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Canadian Reporting System: <ul><li>Canada has no systematic reporting system. </li></ul><ul><li>FIRST REPORTS: Canada Supreme Court Reports (Archives-KE140.R46); Canada Law Reports: Supreme Court of Canada (Archives-KE132.5.J63). </li></ul><ul><li>SINCE 1971: Canada Federal Court Reports; National Reporter; Dominion Law Reports (KE132.D66 - full set of 1 st -4 th series). </li></ul>
    5. 5. Other Reporters: <ul><li>Reports for each of the Canadian provinces. </li></ul><ul><li>Provincial Reports by various publishers. </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-provincial coverage , e.g. Atlantic Provinces Reports (1975-present); Western Weekly Reports (1912-present). </li></ul><ul><li>See also the Virtual Canadian Legal Information Institute ( LexUM) at . </li></ul>
    6. 6. Finding & Updating Cases at Marquette Law: <ul><li>Citation variances. </li></ul><ul><li>Case-finding tools usually accompany specific reports. </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Abridgment, 2d (most comprehensive, </li></ul><ul><li>1966-present)(KE173.A1.C36). </li></ul><ul><li>Contents/Helpful Research Aids: General Index, Case Table, Digest references, Words & Phrases, Canadian Citations. </li></ul><ul><li>Other Digesting Services in Canada. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Constitutional Law in Canada: <ul><li>Until 1982, the primary source was the “British North America Act”, 30 & 31 Vict., ch. 3 (1867). </li></ul><ul><li>In the Canada Act of 1982, the UK Parliament relinquished its legislative role in Canada. </li></ul><ul><li>Basic Canadian Constitutional Documents [e.g. Canadian Charter of Rights Annotated…] . </li></ul>
    8. 8. Statutory Research in Canada: <ul><li>No Subject Codification of the Canadian statutes like the United States Code . </li></ul><ul><li>The present version of the federal statutes is the Revised Statutes of Canada (KE89.1985)(proclaimed in force in Dec.1988). </li></ul><ul><li>Chapters in the Revised Statutes are designated by letter and number. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Statutory Research, continued… <ul><li>Canadian Acts of Parliament are published at the end of the parliamentary session or after each year in bound volumes, known as the Statutes of Canada (KE78.S72). </li></ul><ul><li>Current Acts are published during the course of the year in issues of the Canada Gazette Part III. </li></ul><ul><li>Publication of provincial legislation follows the federal paradigm of sessional vols./revisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Quebec “caveats” for legal research. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Updating Statutes in Canada: <ul><li>A cumulative “Table of Public Statutes” in the Canada Gazette Part II lists all more recent acts and federal acts in the latest Revised Statutes . </li></ul><ul><li>Statutory changes and interpretative cases can be found in the looseleaf Canada Statute Citator . </li></ul><ul><li>The Statutes Judicially Considered and Canadian Citations components of the Canadian Abridgment provide extensive references to cases citing both federal and provincial statutes. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Canadian Regulations: <ul><li>Access to Canadian regulations is similar to the process for Canadian statutes. </li></ul><ul><li>Federal regulations in force and of gen’l application are printed in the Consolidated Regulations of Canada (19 vol. print set or available online- ). </li></ul><ul><li>Regulations amending or revoking those in the consolidation are found in biweekly issues of the Canada Gazette Part II (available online- ). </li></ul>
    12. 12. Canadian Regulations, continued… <ul><li>In Canada Gazette Part II , there are two separate series: “S.O.R.” for statutory order and regulations and “S.I.” for other statutory instruments. </li></ul><ul><li>The first step in Canadian federal regulatory research is to check the “Consolidated Index for Statutory Instruments” in the Canada Gazette Part II (quarterly index). </li></ul><ul><li>Provincial regulations are published in official provincial gazettes, usually following the arrangement of the Canada Gazette Part II. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Secondary Legal Resources for Canadian Law at Marquette: <ul><li>Dictionary of Canadian Law (Carswell)(Ref. KE183.D8). </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (KE259.C36). </li></ul><ul><li>Index to Canadian Legal Periodical Literature (KE173.A85.C362). </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Writing and Research Manual (KE265.Y63.1988). </li></ul>
    14. 14. Canadian Law on the Web: <ul><li>LexUM (Univ. of Montreal Law Website): . </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Legal Information Institute (CANLII): . </li></ul><ul><li>Louise Tsang’s “Overview of Sources of Canadian Law on the Web”: htm . </li></ul><ul><li>“ Doing Legal Research in Canada”: htm . </li></ul><ul><li>“ Best Guide to Canadian Legal Research”: (a good tutorial). </li></ul>
    15. 15. Lexis Databases for Canadian Law: <ul><li> . </li></ul><ul><li>Legal > Legal (excluding U.S.) > Canada. </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Cases = Federal Courts, Provincial Reports, Law Reports, Digests, and Topical Categories. </li></ul><ul><li>Legislation & Regulations (Consolidated) = Federal, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. </li></ul><ul><li>Martindale-Hubbell Int’l Law Digest. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Westlaw Databases for Canadian Law: <ul><li> . </li></ul><ul><li>“ Canadian Research” Tab = Case Law, Statutes, Regulations, Journals, and Treatises. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Directory” > “International/Worldwide Materials” > “Country Materials” > “Canada”. </li></ul><ul><li>Contents : Canadian Abridgment, Cases by Jurisdiction, Topic, or Carswell Law Reports, Topical or Federal Legislation, Rules, Statutes, and Legislation, Journals, and Treatises for Canadian legal research. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Next Time: <ul><li>Private International Law. </li></ul><ul><li>International Arbitration. </li></ul>