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Law Resources: The Basics: Case Law Collection

What is it?

Canadian Case Law is made up of the written decisions of judges in court or tribunals.  It is the law as established by the outcome of former cases.  Canada's law is based on precedence, meaning that the decisions made by the judges in court or tribunals are based on previous cases.  Case law comes from all levels of courts in Canada.

Where is it?

In Print:
Canadian case law in print is located on the Main floor of the library.

  • Topical Reporters are housed in rows 1 to 7
  • Territorial Reporters are housed in rows 12 to 13
  • Provincial Reporters are housed in rows 15 to 21

Online:
CANLII
 and the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library are great free resources.

How to use it

Topical Reporters 

  • Arranged topically by different subject areas of law (ex. Canadian Criminal Cases, Canadian Native Law Reporter, Reports of Family Law, etc.)
  • Courts send reports to publishers
  • good sources of case law on a specific area of law (ex. if you want to see cases on family law
    topics, see: Reports of Family Law)
  • contain head notes: notes that are placed at the head (beginning) of the reported law case summarizing or commenting on the content (N.B. these are copyrighted by the publisher) 

Territorial Reporters

  • Arranged by territory, either nationally or regionally
  • Good sources of case law by territory
  • Western Weekly Reports – these cover the Western provinces and the Territories
  • Dominion Law Reports and National Reporter – cover all of Canada
  • Supreme Court Reports – these are the “official Canadian” law reports as they are published by the Supreme Court of Canada

Provincial Reporters  

  • Arranged by province (ex. Alberta Reports)
  • Good sources of case law by province