In our previous blog post “Following the Breadcrumbs: Source Notes and How to Use Them”, we reviewed how to decipher and interpret legislative citations, or source notes, found in statute consolidations. In this post, we will review how to decipher and interpret sources notes found in regulation consolidations.
To review, source notes are printed at the end of sections of consolidated regulations to show you the amendment history of a particular section and to enable you to trace the section back in time. The citations found in source notes are like breadcrumbs citing to legislation that has affected the consolidated regulation in some way. If the section in question has not been amended or revoked since it was originally made or last revised, the source note will only show the citation to the original regulation or last revision.
Let’s use the consolidated Rules of Civil Procedure on e-Laws as an example:
The source notes for rule 1.09 of the Rules of Civil Procedure indicate that there are two regulations that have affected this rule in some way. Let’s break down how you would read these citations:
Ontario Regulation Number: This part of the source note refers to the number of the regulation. Regulation numbers are assigned numerically as they are registered with the Registrar of Regulations. So, O. Reg. 132/04 is the 132nd regulation of the year in which it was made.
Year: The number found after the forward slash of the source note represents the year the regulation was made. So, O.Reg. 132/04 was made n 2004.
Section: This is a very helpful component. This number represents the specific section of the new or amending regulation that affected the section of the consolidated regulation in question.
Similar source notes to those provided on e-Laws are available for federal consolidated regulations on Justice Laws. However, visually they appear slightly differently than Ontario source notes. Let’s take a look at the Migratory Birds Regulations as an example:
Though federal regulation source notes are formatted differently, they have some similar components:
Statutory Order and Regulations: “SOR” stands for Statutory Order and Regulations.
Year: The number found after the forward slash of the source note represents the year the regulation was made.
Regulation Number: The number following the hyphen in the source note represents the regulation number. Regulation numbers are assigned as they are registered with the Clerk of the Privy Council.
Section: This number represents the specific section of the new or amending regulation that affected the section of the consolidated regulation in question.
By following the trail of legislative citations provided in source notes, you can discern the changes made to the consolidated law over time, and find the legislation responsible for making these changes.
And don’t forget if you get lost along the way, follow the breadcrumbs to our Ask a Law Librarian service and we’ll help get you back on track.