Library Subject Guides

Law: Canada


Canada has a federal system of government, comprising the Federal Government at national level, ten provinces (Alberta, British Colombia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan), and three territories (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon).

The Canadian court system is hierarchical, with the Supreme Court as the highest court.  There are a number of federal courts including the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and then each province and territory (except Nunavut) has a three tiered court system.

Legal Encyclopedia




Provinces and Territories

Finding case law

When you are referred to a case, you will usually be given the citation. This is the formal method of referring to a reported case and will follow a citation convention. The citation includes the names of the parties before the court, the date and often a report series and page number.

To find a cited case, try the following four-step process:

  1. Examine the citation to identify the abbreviation of the law report series.
  2. Determine the full title of the law report series using the Cardiff index to legal abbreviations.
  3. Search for the full title of the law report series using a "Browse Alphabetically: By Title" search in the Library Catalogue.
  4. Locate the law report online or on the shelf in the Central Library.

Finding Canadian Cases

If you have a case citation, follow the process above.

The databases below provide access to many Canadian cases, including both reported and unreported cases.

You can search by case name, subject, court and judge.


Federal Law Reports


Provincial and Territory Law Reports

The Library holds most of the historical provincial and territory reports in paper copy. Check the Library Catalogue.


If you cannot find what you need, please contact the Law Subject Librarians – Theresa Buller and John Arnold.

You can: