Texts and encyclopedias


LawSource contains the full text of the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest, both the Western and Ontario editions.

  • CED entries are included in the results for federated searches.The CED can also be accessed directly from the Commentary section of the LawSource home page, either to search or to browse the table of contents.
  • References to the CED appear in the KeyCite results for cases that have been cited in the CED.
  • It is cumbersome to confirm the currency of the CED content. Currency information for each title is included in the table of contents for that title. However, when viewing a particular CED excerpt there are several layers to navigate before currency information is revealed.

In addition to full text Canadian journal articles, LawSource provides pay-per-view access to a collection of memoranda of law. LawSource users can obtain a summary of the memorandum with the list of cited authorities without incurring the pay-per-view charge.

There are several topical products on the WestlawNext Canada platform that contain leading secondary sources pertinent to particular areas of law. These publications are all searched as part of the federated search. Entries in the results list that are outside of subscription can be viewed on a pay-per-view basis.

The use of federated searching on LawSource will bring this commentary to the researcher’s attention at an early stage of the research process.


Quicklaw offers a range of subscription options. Halsbury’s Laws of Canada is included in a Full Service subscription.

  • Halsbury’s can be accessed through the QL Bookshelf or the Commentary template.
  • References to Halsbury’s appear in the QuickCite results for cases that have been cited in Halsbury’s.
  • Currency information for each title is included in the source information for that title. Titles are updated on a three year schedule.

Selected titles from Halsbury’s, as well as leading Butterworth’s texts, are included in Essentials subscriptions targeted to different practice areas. A Quicklaw Library subscription adds several full-text treatises to a Full Service International subscription.

Other sources

There is a vast world of secondary sources available only in print. These should not be overlooked. Often the research process will be more informed, efficient and effective if one of these sources is consulted before electronic research is commenced. See the list of Suggested Textbooks for a place to start. LegalTree also contains a good list of treatises and internet sites organized by subject.

Other options for electronic access to secondary sources include the following:

  • For subscribers to CLE Online, the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC provides electronic access to practice manuals and seminar papers.
  • Irwin Law publishes an e-library of legal texts. Members of the Law Society of BC can access this material without charge from their desktops through the Reading Room at Courthouse Libraries BC.
  • Carswell provides electronic access to some publications through its eReference Library.
  • An add-on subscription to Quicklaw Library provides access to many treatises.