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PMIR 823: Industrial Relations and Labour Law I

This guide points to research tools and databases that students can use for research assignments in PMIR 823.

Cases & Awards

A case is a written decision of a judge in a court case or tribunal. In the common law in Canada, judges must follow the principle of stare decisis, which requires that judges follow the previous rulings (i.e. precedents) of other judges in higher courts in their province or territory or the Supreme Court of Canada on the same issue. 

A labour arbitration case, also called an arbitration award, is the written decision of a labour arbitrator resolving a matter submitted for their consideration. Arbitration awards are binding on the parties involved in the dispute.

To identify the leading cases and awards on a particular legal issue, start by consulting one of the legal textbooks listed in this guide. Once you have found the leading cases, search the following databases to locate additional cases and awards on your topic.

Case Law Databases

Searching a full-text case law database can help you to identify and locate decisions beyond those that you have already found referenced in secondary sources.

Here are some tips for constructing search strings in full-text case law databases:

  • Use keywords and short phrases that describe the specific legal topic you are researching (e.g. addiction).
  • Include relevant legal "terms of art" (words or phrases that have a specialized meaning in law) in your search string (e.g. duty to accommodate).
  • Use quotations marks around short phrases that always appear in the same order (e.g. "duty to accommodate").
  • Use the search connector AND to combine different concepts together into one search string (e.g. "duty to accommodate" AND addiction).
  • Include synonyms and/or alternate search terms when appropriate. Use the search connector OR to tell the search engine to look for any of these terms (e.g. "duty to accommodate" AND addiction AND theft OR stealing).

The databases listed below can be used to search for full-text labour and employment law cases and awards.

Case Law Summaries

A case law summary is a short description of a case that includes things like the key facts, the legal issue(s), the arguments and/or reasoning, and the outcome of a case. Some case summaries also include a brief editorial comment regarding the legal significance of the case. 

Searching a topical collection of case summaries can be a great way of quickly locating cases on a particular legal issue. The following database can be used for locating case summaries in the field of labour and employment law.