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Legal Research Manual

This edition of Legal Research Manual builds on many previous editions. While the manual is designed principally for use with the first year legal research classes, upper year law students will also find it a useful reference.

Digest Services

Existing side-by-side with case reporters are digesting services that provide summaries of cases and a way in which to discover the existence of many more unreported cases. Although the advent of online databases and has diminished their importance, digest services are still used to access cases before and even after publication of the full decision,and can point to the existence of decisions that may not be published online or in print. A "digest" is a short concise summary of the court decision made soon after its release. Some are available in a database as well as in print. The most commonly used digest services are:

  • All Canada Weekly Summaries
  • Weekly Criminal Bulletin
  • Canadian Abridgment case digests

Summaries in all of these services are not as detailed as most of the headnote summaries which preface the decision in law reports, but they can inform you whether or not the case is on point and worth consulting in full text.