a Case

How to Find a Case

Start with Secondary Sources

  • Use resources like texts, encyclopedias or journal articles to identify the most important cases on your topic.  See the library's Research Guides for lists of the leading texts in a variety of subject areas to start your research. Once you have identified relevant cases you can find them through a variety of sources. 

Sources of Case Law

Commercial Legal Databases

  • Lexis Advance Quicklaw  and WestlawNext  Canada, have full-text reported and unreported judgments. The databases can be searched by citation, keyword, subject or case name. The commercial databases provide value-added features like extensive headnotes, links to related secondary resources, access to the history of a case, as well as the ability to note-up cases using QuickCITE (Lexis Advance Quicklaw) or Keycite (WestlawNext Canada).  
  • Access to these databases can be very costly and requires a subscription

Free Sources

Court Websites
  • Each of the courts have websites which provide access to more recent cases.  These case reports are usually consist of the judgement of the court and do not have any value-added features.  They are usually browseable by date only.  
Legal Information Institutes
  • Legal information institutes provide free access to case law (provided by the courts) and legislation with some limited value-added features including listing cases that have cited the original case. 
  • CanLII (The Canadian Legal Information Institute) provides the most complete free access to Canadian case law 
  • Other Legal Information Institutes from around the world are: