Western Libraries

Canadian Case Law

Judicial decisions from Canadian courts, which include the reasons for the decision, are written by the presiding judge(s) and made available through Case Law Reports or electronically through commercial databases or free websites. The following list contains the commonly-known reporter series in print as well as links to electronic sources and special reference materials.

Canada Supreme Court Reports
Decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada.
Citation Example R. v. Hodgson, [1998] 2 S.C.R. 449.

Canadian Cases on the Law of Torts

Torts decisions from across the country.
Citation Example: Law Estate v. Simice (1995), 27 C.C.L.T.(2d)127 (B.C. C.A.).

Canadian Criminal Cases
Citation Example: R. v. Gostick (1999), 137 C.C.C. (3d), 53 (Ont. C.A.).

Canadian Legal Information Institute (CANLII)
The CanLII Web site, designed by LexUM, is an initiative of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to provide primary Canadian legal materials (case law and legislation) via the Internet. Other similar initiatives include Cornell University's Legal Information Institute, Australia's AUSTLII web site and the UK's BAILII web site.

Dominion Law Reports
Citation Example: Calgary (City) v. Calgary Police Assn. (1997), 145 D.L.R. (4th) 221 (Alta. C.A.).

Federal Court of Canada Website: Decisions

Federal Court Reports
Citation Example: Friends of the Oldman River Society v. Canada (Minister of Transport), [1990] 1 F.C. 248 (T.D.).

Ontario Reports
Citation Example: McMillan v. McMillan (1999), 44 O.R. (3d) 139 (Gen. Div.).

Supreme Court of Canada website
Includes news releases, weekly bulletins, and recent judgments.

The Canadian Abridgment. 3rd ed. Ongoing Updates.
The core of The Abridgment is a collection of case digests, or summaries, of issues decided by Canadian courts and administrative tribunals from the early 1800s to the present. (Also included, since 1987, are unreported Court of Appeal cases and since 1996, unreported superior court cases.) The Abridgment Case Digests is the most efficient tool for finding Canadian cases on an area of law, a particular legal issue or a specific fact situation.

The set is organized by subject according to the Abridgment's Key classification system. This new, third edition, is still in the process of replacing the 2nd edition.

The Canadian Abridgment is comprised of:

  • Key & Research Guide
  • General Index
  • Canadian Case Digests (main set)
  • Consolidated Table of Cases (search by case name)
  • Index to Canadian Legal Literature (search for journal articles)
  • Cases Judicially Considered (cases which discuss other cases)
  • Statutes Judicially Considered (cases which discuss statutes)