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LBST 330: Legal Research. Yolanda Koscielski , Librarian for Criminology and Psychology ysk6@sfu.ca . objectives. Provide a introduction to legal research to fulfill course needs: Understand case citations Use the legal databases CANLII and Quicklaw

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lbst 330 legal research

LBST 330: Legal Research

Yolanda Koscielski,

Librarian for Criminology and Psychology

ysk6@sfu.ca

objectives
objectives
  • Provide a introduction to legal research to fulfill course needs:
    • Understand case citations
    • Use the legal databases CANLII and Quicklaw
    • Locate decisions and statutes in databases
    • Use the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (CED) and the Canadian Abridgment Digest (CAD) to locate decisions on topic
1 understanding case citations
1. Understanding Case Citations
  • Case name=plaintiff & defendant, petitioner & respondent, etc.
  • This report can be found in the 69th volume of the Dominion Law Reports on page 433.
  • The "2nd" tells you that the DLR has been published in multiple series; the second series was 1956-68
  • SCBC indicates this was a Supreme Court of British Columbia decision
understanding case citations
Understanding Case Citations

Examples:

  • LeBrun v High-Low Foods Ltd. (1968), 69 D.L.R. (2nd) 433 (S.C.B.C.)
  • R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103, 26 D.L.R. (4th) 200, 65 N.R. 87(S.C.C.)
  • Hopp v Lepp, [1980] 2 SCR 192, 112 DLR (3d) 67
  • Silva v. Silva, 2014 BCSC 29
    • Neutral citation = cite a case without relying on court reporters; a persistent and unique identifier for a case
  • EXERCISE
understanding case citations1
Understanding Case Citations

Wells v. Newfoundland (1997), 156 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 271, 483 A.P.R. 271, 5 Admin. L.R. (3d) 113, (N.L.C.A.)

The same citation in 2 electronic databases:

    • 1997 CarswellNfld 199 (LawSource/Carswell)
    • 1997 CanLII 14705 (NLCA) (CANLII)
  • Queen’s University Legal Citation Guide
slide6

Wells v. Newfoundland (1997), 156Nfld. & P.E.I.R.271, 483 A.P.R. 271, 5 Admin. L.R. (3d) 113, (N.L.C.A.)

  • Case name (Appellant + Respondents)
  • Year of Decision
  • Volume number of law report
  • Law reporter name (Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island Reporter)
  • Page number in that law report volume
  • Other law reporters (aka parallel citations)
  • Series number of law report, as applicable
  • Court the case was heard in
slide7

Rai v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police,

2013CHRT36

  • Case name (Complainant + Respondent)
  • Date of decision
  • Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
  • Decision number 36 of 2013
canlii
CANLII
  • “CanLIIis a non-profit organization managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. CanLII's goal is to make Canadian law accessible for free on the Internet. This website provides access to court judgments, tribunal decisions, statutesand regulations from all Canadian jurisdictions”.
  • Free & easy to use
  • Continually improving & expanding
canlii1
CANLII
  • Use Scope of Databases link to search within decisions from:
    • Canadian Human Rights Tribunal 1979 –
    • BC Human Rights Tribunal 2008 –
    • BC Labour Relations Board 2004 –
    • BC Labour Arbitrations Awards 2010 –
  • Links to associated legislation included
  • Date range limited; may need to use other sources for older decisions
  • DEMO x 2
note up a case
Note Up a Case
  • Means you are researching a case to see if…
    • it has been cited in subsequent cases
    • the decision has proceeded to a higher court
  • Process ensures you have found the most recent (i.e., legally relevant) version of a case
  • DEMO
key concept secondary legal literature
Key Concept: Secondary Legal Literature
  • Searching primary sources directly for case law by keyword is usually not recommended
    • Keyword = 1000s of unrelated hits
    • Exception: very unique terminology
    • Start with secondary legal sources and/or specialized legal research tools, such as:
      • Canadian Encyclopedia Digest
      • Canadian Abridgment Digest
key concept secondary legal literature1
Key Concept: Secondary Legal Literature
  • Primary Legal Literature: case law + decisions
  • Secondary Legal Literature:articles from academic legal journals, case commentary, newsletters and digests by legal experts, textbooks
  • Uses of secondary lit:
    • Current awareness of legal issues (e.g., weekly digests)
    • Efficient way to locate case law by topic
    • Provide understanding of legal issues and case law in context
decisions by topic
DECISIONS BY TOPIC

Quick intro to 3 sources:

  • Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (CED)
  • Canadian Abridgment Digest (CAD)
  • Quicklaw’s secondary sources
canadian abridgment digest
Canadian Abridgment Digest
  • Available in LawSource database
  • “Digestsof Canadian case law that are organized by legal issue according to a single taxonomy”
  • Scope: over 750,000 cases
    • 1803  all reported cases
    • 1986  all unreported and reported cases
    • Updated daily
  • A case may be “digested” in more than one subject category
  • DEMO
canadian encyclopedic digest
Canadian encyclopedic digest
  • Available in LawSource Database
  • > 225 entries on legal topics
  • Entries provide “a comprehensive statement of the law, as derived from case law and legislation”
  • Footnotes will point you to key legislation and seminal cases
  • DEMO
quicklaw
QuICKLAW
  • Case Law
  • Academic Legal Journals
  • EXERCISES
questions
Questions?
  • Yolanda Koscielski, Liaison Librarian for Criminology & Psychology at Burnaby ysk6@sfu.ca
  • Rebecca Dowson, Liaison Librarian for History & English & Labour Studies, rda26@sfu.ca

General queries:

  • AskUsDesk
  • AskAway
  • TextUs