Why Annotated Acts?

Why are annotated acts such useful research tools? After all, you can note up any section of any statute from all Canadian jurisdictions using Lexis Advance and WestlawNext Canada. Annotated acts, however, offer more. They are a convenient package of value-added information compiled by a subject expert. 

Typically, you’ll get the current text of the act, together with summaries of leading cases, commentary on the act’s sections, and relevant regulations or practice directions (as in the annotated Rules of Civil Procedure).

A good example is the 2018 Annotated Ontario Employment Standards Act by T. Stephen Lavender, located in our collection at Call # KF 3455 O57 E 2018. The contents include:

  • a brief legislative history of employment standards in Ontario;
  • the Employment Standards Act 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 41, as amended, as well as the regulations;
  • each section of the act has brief commentary, related provisions, summaries of recent cases and summaries of cases decided under the predecessor act’s section.

Most annotated acts are annuals, meaning they are updated and published every year. So, always check the preface for the publication’s currency date.

There isn’t an annotated version for every act from every jurisdiction. However, if you find one, it is a highly-recommended starting point for research into a particular statute.