Judicial consideration

Best practices

Judicial consideration involves looking for decisions that have considered a 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, then you must trace the legislative history of the section back and find references to the provision in earlier revisions of the legislation.

Annotated legislation

Check whether an annotated version of your statute exists.

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 information on the section, including the policy behind it and an analysis of cases considering it.


KeyCite on WestlawNext Canada is an electronic tool for finding judicial consideration of Canadian statutes, regulations and rules of court. It is based on Canadian Statute Citations and has the same historical depth and treatment codes.

The simplest way to access KeyCite is when you are viewing the legislation you want to note up. However, this is not possible when the legislative provision that you want to KeyCite is older, and the full text is not on WestlawNext Canada. In that circumstance, run a KeyCite search in the global search box, using the citation for the legislation.

For example, kc: rsc 1970 c c-32 s 16 would retrieve a KeyCite result for the Canada Corporations Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-32, s. 16.

This method can be used for retrieving a KeyCite result for any statutory provision, without having to locate the legislation first.

Canadian Statute Citations

Canadian Statute Citations is a print publication and is part of the Canadian Abridgment. It covers judicial consideration of statutes from all Canadian jurisdictions. It includes judicial consideration of legislation through successive revisions, enabling researchers to check for judicial consideration of earlier versions of the legislation.


QuickCite includes Canadian cases from 1992 (except coverage for Quebec is from 2006) that judicially consider the most recent revision of each jurisdiction’s legislation. When viewing the legislative provision, look for a link to QuickCite on the upper left. Alternatively, use the “Note up with QuickCITE” feature from the home page to enter a citation for the legislation and go directly to QuickCite.


Federal 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.

CCH publications

CCH may have published a consolidated version of your statute with commentary for each section, such as the Canada Corporations Guide. Check for CCH publications on your topic using the CCH Rapid Finder Index. Updates to CCH binders may not be interfiled. They are usually put under a tab for recent developments. Be sure to always check the material under this tab, as the main volume may not contain current information.

Canada Statute Service

Canada Law Book publishes the Canada Statute Service on the Internet and on CD ROM. It includes a full text consolidation of the federal statutes and regulations (excluding the Income Tax Act), with

  • selective case references
  • searching by keyword and by section
  • cross-references and statutory history

Indices to case reporters

Indices to case reporters usually contain a table for statutes judicially considered. For example, Canadian Cases on the Law of Torts is published with cumulative indices containing a table for both statutes and regulations judicially considered.