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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.


Regulations are also known as delegated or subordinate legislation. Generally speaking, subordinate legislation is the broad term given to rules, regulations, orders, bylaws, or proclamations made by an authority (Governor-in-Council, minister, government department, etc.) under the terms of an act of Parliament or act of a provincial legislature. The authoritative act under which a regulation is issued is referred to as the Enabling Statute. Regulations are concerned with highly specific legislative detail while enabling statutes deal more with general matters or principles for the subject concerned. For example, an enabling statute will outline policy or objectives while regulations made under that act will provide actual detailed information as to how the legislative objectives are to be carried out. Subordinate legislation has the force of law.

Regulations are issued and change on a regular basis. These rapid changes can make regulations a challenge to work with because updating becomes such an important component of the researching process. It is essential to be as current as possible in order to avoid missing any important information.

Federal regulations are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, while Ontario regulations appear in the weekly Ontario Gazette.