The most efficient use of the electronic statute citators described below is in conjunction with a publication such as Statutes of British Columbia Judicially Considered, which provides a summary of the most important citing cases. Another good way to augment your statute citator research is to consult an annotated version of the legislation you are researching.
Because of the time lag between when cases are released and when they are processed for inclusion in the statute citators, it is necessary to conduct a keyword search in LawSource and Quicklaw in order to be completely current. CanLII is the most current electronic source for judicial consideration of legislation, but does not have good historical coverage.
LawSource contains an electronic version of Canadian Statute Citations, called KeyCite.
- KeyCite results are available on LawSource when viewing a statute section, by clicking on the Citing References tab.
- The KeyCite report is organized by subsection, first listing cases considering the section as a whole, and then listing judicial consideration by subsection.
- Definition sections have separate treatment results for each definition.
- The results can be re-sorted and filtered.
- The most recent KeyCite treatment also appears with the section.
- KeyCite includes judicial consideration for older legislation, not just for the revision currently published on LawSource. Since the text of the older legislation is not on LawSource, KeyCite must be accessed in another more technical way for older legislation.
- In the main search box, a citation must be entered that is proceeded by kc:
- For example, to find judicial consideration of s. 2(29) of the Laws Declaratory Act, R.S.B.C. 1960, c. 213, the query would be kc: rsbc 1960 c 213 s 2
- This will bring up the KeyCite record for all consideration of section 2, and you can then scan the results for entries dealing with subsection 29
- KeyCite also covers judicial consideration of rules of court and regulations (from 1997).
Quicklaw also has a legislation citator. QuickCite lists cases from 1992 (for Quebec from 2006) that judicially consider legislation from the most recent revision of a jurisdiction’s statutes, or its regulations.
Judicial consideration of a legislative provision can be retrieved by typing in the citation for the section on the Quicklaw home page, or by clicking on the QuickCite link when viewing the legislative provision. Results are organized by date, and include consideration by subsection and for definition sections.
In order to look for judicial consideration of legislation on Quicklaw in cases decided before 1992 it is necessary to conduct a keyword search in the full text case law.
The legislative note-up feature on CanLII has been improved significantly. Access it from the note-up tab, or by clicking on the section number when viewing the legislation. You can note-up by section or by subsection.
There are some caveats. The results will not include cases outside of CanLII’s scope of coverage, the note-up tool is dependent on a properly formed citation appearing in the case, and there will be some “false positives” where references to an older revision are included in the results.
Despite these issues, the improved legislative note-up on CanLII is quite effective and will retrieve most citing cases within CanLII’s scope of coverage.