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Canadian Law & Legislation

This library guide will provide you with information to complete your Canadian criminal law research.

Writing Guides

 Find more information about citation rules in the full APA Citation Guide

Where to cite

Every time you use someone else's ideas or words, cite both in-text and in the references list. This helps to avoid plagiarism - for more information, see the Okanagan College Avoiding Plagiarism Tutorial.

In-text citations give credit to the original source and point your reader to the complete reference at the end of your paper.

References at the end of the paper help the reader find the source.

Remember to cite:

  • Direct quotes
  • Paraphrases - others' ideas that you state in your own words
  • Reprinted or adapted tables and figures*
  • Theories
  • Ideas
  • Data and data sets (APA, 2020, p. 255)

*Figures include charts, maps, graphs, photographs, drawings or illustrations.

 

Three reasons to cite

1. Give credit where credit is due

Every time you use someone else's ideas or words, you need to give them credit. Whether you are paraphrasing or quoting, no matter where you find the information (journal article, book, Wikipedia, website, etc.), you must cite your sources.

It is plagiarism if you use someone else's ideas or words without crediting them. Visit the Library's Avoiding Plagiarism guide to be sure you understand plagiarism.

2. Help your reader find your sources

By citing, you are providing your reader with the necessary information to locate your sources.

3. Lend credibility to your arguments

Citing sources demonstrates that your arguments are solid, and backed up by other research.

Legislation & Case Law

 

Parenthetical

Narrative

Revised Statutes of Canada (direct quote)

"Every person who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years" (Criminal Code, 1985, s 318(1)(a)).

According to the Criminal Code (1985), "[e]very person who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years" (s 318(1)(a)).
Revised Statutes of Canada (paraphrased) Advocacy or promotion of genocide is considered an indictable offence and any person who is guilty of commiting this offence is liable to a prison term of up to five years (Criminal Code, 1985). According to the Criminal Code (1985), advocacy or promotion of genocide is considered an indictable offence and any person who is guilty of commiting this offence is liable to a prison term of up to five years.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms (direct quote)

"Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right ... to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province" (Canadian Charter, 1982, s 6 (2)(b)).

The Canadian Charter (1982) states that "[e]very citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right ... to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province" (s 6 (2)(b)).

Revised Statutes of British Columbia (paraphrased)

The purpose of the British Columbia Treaty Commission is to act as the facilitator of treaty negotiations between first nations (one or more) and the Crown (Treaty Commission Act, 1996).

According to the Treaty Commission Act (1996), the purpose of the British Columbia Treaty Commission is to act as the facilitator of treaty negotiations between first nations (one or more) and the Crown.

Statutes of British Columbia (direct quote)

"Subject to section 6 and Part 3, if a child intentionally takes, damages or destroys property of another person, a parent of the child is liable for the loss of or damage to the property experienced as a result by an owner and by a person legally entitled to possession of the property" (Parental Liability Act, 2001, s 3).

According to the Parental Liability Act (2001), "[s]ubject to section 6 and Part 3, if a child intentionally takes, damages or destroys property of another person, a parent of the child is liable for the loss of or damage to the property experienced as a result by an owner and by a person legally entitled to possession of the property" (3).

Bills (paraphrased)

This act amends the Criminal Code to allow exemptions from culpability to offenses in the interest of providing access to medical assistance in dying (Bill C-14, 2016).

Bill C-14 (2016amends the Criminal Code to allow exemptions from culpability to offenses in the interest of providing access to medical assistance in dying.

Case Law (direct quote)

"The trial judge then granted a constitutional exemption from the mandatory minimum sentence, sentencing the appellant to one year of imprisonment and one year on probation, to be spent confined to his farm" (R v Latimer, 2001, para. 20). 

In the case of R v Latimer (2001), "[t]he trial judge then granted a constitutional exemption from the mandatory minimum sentence, sentencing the appellant to one year of imprisonment and one year on probation, to be spent confined to his farm" (para. 20).

Legislation & Case Law

APA style does not have its own rules for citing legal materials and instead it refers users to the standard legal citation style commonly used in the United States, The Bluebook. The Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, also referred to as the McGill Guide, is the standard used most widely in Canada. The examples below follow some of the most common formatting used with APA style, and require only minor changes to the citations copied from the most frequented databases for primary legal sources: CanLII, QuickLaw and HeinOnline.  

 

Revised Statutes of Canada

Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s 7, Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c 11.

Revised Statutes of British Columbia

Treaty Commission Act, RSBC,1996, c 461.

Statutes of British Columbia

Parental Liability Act, SBC 2001, c 45. 

Bills

Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying), 1st Sess, 42nd Parl, 2016 (assented to 1June 2016).

Bill 6, Employment Standards Amendment Act, 3rd Sess, 41st Parl, British Columbia, 2018 (3rd Reading 12 April 2018).

 

Case law, neutral citation (identifies case only, not where it is located or retrieved from)

Template

Case Name, Year of Decision Court Identifier* Decision number.

Example

R v Latimer, 2001 SCC 1.

List of court identifiers 

 

Case law, retrieved from QuickLaw

Make sure the "include parallel citations" option is unchecked when you are using the "copy citation" tool in QuickLaw. QuickLaw has its own abbreviations for judgments handed down by the courts, for example Supreme Court Judgment (SCJ) or Alberta Judgment (AJ). The court identifier should be added in parentheses at the end of the citation when the level of court is unclear from the abbreviation. For example, if the abbreviation BCJ is used and the judgment came from the BC Court of Appeals, then add (BCCA) at the end of the citation.

Template

Case Name, Year of Decision Court Identifier* Decision number (QL).

Example 1

R v Latimer, [2001] SCJ no 1 (QL).

Example 2

R v Ellard, [2008] BCJ no 1689 (QL) (BCCA).

 

Case law, retrieved from Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)

The citation for a published case retrieved from CanLII should include first the neutral citation, then CanLII in parentheses followed by the information for the case law report series* (example 1). If there is no decision number but there is a number assigned by CanLII, include the CanLII number and the court identifier follows in parentheses (example 2). If it is an unpublished case (example 3), use the number assigned by CanLII and include the court identifier in brackets. When citing more than one case with the same case name and year, add a, b, etc. after the year to distinguish them in your in-text citations (examples 3 and 4). 

Template

Case Name, Year of Decision Court Identifier* Decision number (CanLII), [Year of Publication] Volume number Case Law Reporter* Page Number. https://... (URL optional).

Example 1

R v Latimer, 2001 SCC 1 (CanLII), [2001] 1 SCR 3. http://canlii.ca/t/523c

Template

Case Name, Year of Decision CanLII number (Court Identifier), [Year of Publication] Volume number Case Law Reporter* Page number. URL (optional).

Example 2

Latimer v. Canada (Treasury Board) (C.A.), 1991 CanLII 8230 (FCA), [1992] 2 FC 361. http://canlii.ca/t/g9nzd

Template

Case Name, Year of Decision CanLII number (Court Identifier). URL (optional)

Example 3

R. v. Glowatski, 1999a CanLII 5632 (BCSC). http://canlii.ca/t/1d2d7

Example 4

R. v. Glowatski, 1999b CanLII 5608 (BCSC). http://canlii.ca/t/

*Case Law Report Series in Canada

 

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