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Legal Citation

This guide provides an introduction to the citation of cases, statutes and regulations, books and journal articles, and electronic sources.

Citing Cases From Electronic Databases: Examples

Here are a few examples to look over. Try to identify and understand each part of the citation.

Example #1: Lexis Advance Quicklaw

R v Butler, [1992] SCJ No 15 (QL).

Note that it is not necessary to include the court because it is clear from the case identifier that this case was handed down by the Supreme Court. No neutral citation exists.  Because the citation "SCJ" doesn't indicate which database it was retrieved from, "QL" has been added at the end for Lexis Advance Quicklaw.

Example #2: Lexis Advance Quicklaw

R v Howard, [1991] AJ No 1025 (QL) (CA).

Here, it is evident that the case was decided in Alberta (case identifier AJ), but it is unclear which court heard the case, so the court abbreviation must be included. No neutral citation exists.  Because the citation "AJ" doesn't indicate which database it was retrieved from, "QL" has been added at the end for Lexis Advance Quicklaw.

Example #3: WestlawNext Canada

Harris v Beck Estate, 2007 CarswellPEI 11 (WL Can) (SC(TD)).

The case identifier shows the case is from PEI but does not indicate the court, so the court abbreviation should be added. No neutral citation exists.  Because the citation "CarswellPEI" doesn't indicate which database it was retrieved from, "WL Can" has been added at the end for WestlawNext Canada.

Example #4: CanLII

OEX Electromagnetic Inc v Coopers, 1991 CanLII 1336 (BCSC).

The only additional information needed is the jurisdiction and court; the case identifier gives the year and electronic database information.  No neutral citation exists.  Because the citation "CanLII" clearly indicates which database it was retrieved from, nothing needs to be added to identify that the case came from the CanLII database.