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Judicial consideration

Best practices

Finding judicial consideration of a statutory provision (noting up) involves looking for decisions that have considered that particular statutory provision. References are located by using the citation to the legislation. If there is not much judicial consideration of the current version of the legislation, you can trace the legislative history of the section back and find references to the provision in earlier revisions of the legislation. Not only does noting up give insight into how legislation has been interpreted, noting up is also a way to update your statute and determine if there are any changes to its validity for a specific legal argument. Noting up can show whether the precedential value of a statutory provision has changed.

While there can be considerable overlap in the cases you discover different tools for noting up, there are also differences. If you need to be comprehensive, note up your statutory provision using as many statute citator tools as possible.

Here are several sources that are helpful for noting up British Columbia statutes:

Annotated legislation

Check whether an annotated version of your statute exists. You can try searching your law library catalogue for the title of your statute to locate publications which include an annotated version of your statute.

If there is an annotated version of your statute available, this is a good place to start.

The annotation will contain references to judicial consideration of each statutory provision, and may also cover legislative history of each provision. Sometimes the annotation will contain additional commentary on the section, including the policy behind it and an analysis of cases considering it.

KeyCite

KeyCite Canada on WestlawNext Canada Lawsource is an online tool for finding judicial consideration of Canadian statutes, regulations, and rules of court. It is possible to Keycite both current and historical statutes.  KeyCiteCanada for Statutes includes judicial treatment of Canadian and foreign statutes referenced in Canadian decisions that fall within the following coverage:

  • Selective coverage of reported cases before 1977
  • Comprehensive coverage of reported cases since 1977
  • Comprehensive coverage of unreported cases since 1986
  • KeyCite Canada for Rules includes judicial treatment of the Rules of Court of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, the territories, and each province with the exception of Québec from 1986
  • KeyCite Canada for Regulations includes judicial treatment of Canadian and foreign regulations referenced in Canadian decisions from 1997

Keycite offers information on treatment and status flags regarding history and citing references that may impact the validity of your legislative provision. Keycite also offers several ways to filter and sort your results.

QuickCite

QuickCite Legislation Citator includes Canadian cases from 1992 (except coverage for Quebec is from 2006). Quickcite identifies different types of treatment in a note up (unconstitutional, pursuant to, referred to etc) to provide additional insight into legislative interpretation and offers several ways to filter and sort your results.

KeyCite and QuickCite both offer valuable information, but researchers should bear in mind that treatment symbols and flags don’t necessarily apply to their specific issue.

CanLII

Legislation on CanLII is published with a note-up feature that links to cases considering the legislation. When viewing legislation, click on the hyperlink on the section or subsection number. These links are restricted to cases within CanLII’s scope of coverage and are dependent on a properly formed citation appearing in the case. Other sources should be consulted to complete your research regarding judicial consideration of the legislation.

Other statute citators

Your law library might have additional statute citators that can be used for locating judicial consideration of BC statutes, such as Statutes of British Columbia Judicially Considered, a Carswell publication which provides a brief summary of the point of law covered in the case, allowing you to judge quickly whether the case is relevant to your research. It is published in looseleaf format. A new edition is published each time a new statute revision is completed. Also, if your library has print case law reporters, Indices to case reporters usually contain a table for statutes judicially considered. For example, the British Columbia Law Reports are published with cumulative indices containing a table for both statutes and regulations judicially considered.