Skip to Main Content

Canadian Legal Research

Quick Links

Best Bets for Canadian Legal Research

Subscription Databases

Free Resources

Print Collection Locations

Call Number Ranges for Canadian Materials 

KE Law of Canada
KE1-9450 Federal Law. Common and collective provincial law
KEA1-599 Alberta
KEB1-599 British Columbia
KEM1-599 Manitoba
KEN1-599 New Brunswick
KEN1201-1799 Newfoundland
KEN5401-5999 Northwest Territories
KEN7401-7999 Nova Scotia
KEO1-1199 Ontario
KEP1-599 Prince Edward Island
KEQ1-1199 Quebec
KES1-599 Saskatchewan
KEY1-599 Yukon Territory
KEZ1-9999 Individual cities, A-Z


Basic Legal Structure


Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy with three distinct elements: The Crown, the Senate, and the House of Commons. In addition to the federal government, Canada is comprised of ten provinces and three territorial governments. Each province operates its own unicameral legislature. 

The head of the government is the Prime Minister, with the Governor General representing the Crown in carrying out most of the constitutional and ceremonial duties. 

For more information on the structure of the government, visit here. 


Court System

Canada has two parallel systems--in addition to the National Federal Court system, each province and territory has its own court system. Canada also has a Military Justice System and a separate Tax Court. 

The Federal court consists of three levels:

  1. The Federal Court (trial level)
  2. The Federal Court of Appeals
  3. The Supreme Court of Canada

The provincial court system consists of: 

  1. The provincial or territorial court 
  2. The Superior Court 
  3. The Provincial Court of Appeal

The Supreme Court of Canada also acts as the court of last resort on the provincial level. More information can be found on the Canadian Government's "About Canada's System of Justice" page. 

Case Law

Library Resources

Supreme & Federal Cases

Provincial Cases

Administrative Cases

Statutes and Legislation

Legislation, Statutory Elements, and Bills

Similar to federal statutes within the United States, a federal statute in Canada applies to every province and territory within Canada. A provincial statute only has mandatory authority within its own jurisdiction. However, unlike in the United States, if a power is not mentioned as belonging to a provincial government, then that power lies with the national Parliament.



Similar to the consolidation of Canada's federal and provincial statutes, the federal regulations of Canada were last consolidated in 1978, in the Consolidated Regulations of Canada, 1978.


Treaties and Agreements

Since 1928, all Canadian treaties have been published in the Canada Treaty Series (CTS). And as of  April 2014, CTS became only available electronically. Additionally, most Canadian treaties are also published in the U.N. Treaty Series, or the League of Nations Treaty Series. '

Prior to 1928 are the "Historic Treaties" from 1701 - 1923. 

Secondary Sources

Good Options for Current, Topical Research

Treatise Collections

The library collects major treatises on Canadian law. Use the link below to locate books on Canadian law.

Alternatively, you can find select series on Canadian law below:

Additional Resources

Getting Help

Contact Us!

  Ask Us! Submit a question or search our knowledge base.

Chat with us! Chat  with a librarian (HLS only)


 Contact Historical & Special Collections at

 Meet with Us  Schedule an online consult with a Librarian

Hours  Library Hours

Classes View Training Calendar or Request an Insta-Class

Credit and CC License


Thank you to Anna Martin for her work on the initial version of this guide.

CC License

Creative Commons License

This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included and it is shared in the same manner.