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Je ne parle pas français: Tips for finding English versions of French language case law

Few things are more frustrating than finding your “golden case”—the case that will answer all your questions, solve all your problems and surely render opposing counsel speechless—only to realize you cannot understand a word of it because it’s been reported in French (and, well, you don’t speak French). While the search for English translations of case law reported in French is not entirely hopeless, it can be a challenge.

Unless the decision has been reported in an official court reporter or published in a bilingual jurisdiction, it is most likely the decision has only been reported in the language in which it was argued. Nevertheless, there are several pathways to take before admitting defeat.

To double-check if there is a translated version of a Canadian decision, search by style of clause (name of the case) on:

  • Lexis Advance Quicklaw
  • WestlawNext Canada
  • CanLII

If these resources do possess a translated version of the case in question, you’ll see an “English” link on the French case, or you’ll notice the case is shown as being reported twice in the same database (one in English, the other in French).

Another source worth consulting is SOQUIJ, the body that publishes Quebec judicial and administrative tribunal decisions.  Although limited in scope, its free database of Translated Decisions offers unofficial English translations of selected decisions from the Quebec Court of Appeal, Quebec Superior Court, Court of Quebec, Quebec Human Rights Tribunal, Quebec Professions Tribunal, the Ministère de la Justice of Quebec and the Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal.

Lastly, some of us at the Great Library have had luck searching for translated versions of cases by using CanLII on Google Chrome. When using CanLII and Google Chrome in tandem, a pop-up window which reads, “Translate this page?” appears. After clicking the “Translate” button, an unofficial English translation of the French case is presented.


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New Books for the New Year

Here’s a selection of new books in our collection – covering current issues from cannabis and liquor laws to expert witnesses and family arbitration:

Cannabis Law by MacFarlane et al. HV 5840 .C36 M34 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor & 1st Floor.

  • This item, which claims to be “the first of its kind”, acts as a guide with which readers can navigate the plethora of uncharted legal issues newly relevant with the legalization and regulation of cannabis in Canada.

Charter Remedies in Criminal Cases: A Practitioner’s Handbook by Asma & Gourlay. KF 9655 A84 2019 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

  • The latest title in the Criminal Law Series covers breaches and remedies, as well as issues such as police misconduct and exclusion of evidence, from both defence and Crown perspectives. Includes checklists and ample case references.

Government Lawyering: Duties and Ethical Challenges of Government Lawyers by Sanderson. KF 299 .G6 S25 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

  • This new text fills a major gap in the literature by explaining and analysing the unique ethical and practice issues facing lawyers working for the Crown.

Impaired Driving and Other Criminal Code Driving Offences: A Practitioner’s Handbook by Jokinen and Keen. KF 2231 J65 2019 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

  • With the repeal and replacement of all driving provisions of the Criminal Code in 2018, this item acts as a comprehensive handbook that analyzes and contextualizes the new provisions of the legislation replete with case law, strategy, and advice.

Liquor Laws of Canada by Bourgeois. KF 3919 B69 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

  • This text serves as a comprehensive primer to the laws governing the regulation, manufacturing, distribution, selling and consumption of liquor across Canada while providing constitutional and economic context to Canadian liquor law.

Other recent additions to our Canadian Practice Collection:

The Expert Accountant in Civil Litigation, 2nd ed., by McAuley. KF 8968.15 Z53 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

A Guide to Family Arbitration in Ontario by Grant and Preston. KF 505 .ZB3 G73 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Ontario Residential Real Estate for Practitioners by Wolf. KF 665 W65 2019 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Quasi-Constitutional Laws of Canada by Helis. KF 425 H45 2018 / 1st Floor.

Witness Preparation: A Practical Guide, 4th ed., by Finlay et al. KF 8950 F56 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

 and to our Circulating Collection:

The Class Actions Controversy: The Origins and Development of the Ontario Class Proceedings Act by Chiodo. KF 8896 C45 2018 / Circulating Collection, 2nd Floor.

A History of Law in Canada, Volume One: Beginnings to 1866 by Girard et al. KF 345 G57 2018 / Circulating Collection, 2nd Floor.

Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice by McMillan. KF 8205 M36 2018 / Circulating Collection, 2nd Floor.

 


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We’re Moving Again!

Well, really we’re moving books again. In an earlier post this year, we let you know that our British law reports, digests and statutes were moved from the American Room down to their new home on the 1st floor.

Now we’re filling all of those empty American Room shelves with our comprehensive collection of federal and Ontario legislative materials. In the New Year, you’ll finally be able to find statutes, regulations, bills, Hansard debates and committee minutes and proceedings all together in one room! Plus, library staff are close by – ready to share their expertise and help you navigate the print and digital sources. For help with any legislative research, just ask us!


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Recent Arrivals

From drug-impaired driving and racial profiling to competition law and torts – here are some of our new titles and new editions:

Canadian Tort Law, 11th ed., by Linden et al. KF 1250 L562 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

  • The 11th edition of this leading treatise provides a thoroughly updated analysis of all aspects of tort law, with details of important appellate cases from the last five years.

Continue reading


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Thanksgiving Weekend Hours

A reminder that that Great Library will be closed on Monday, October 8, 2018 for Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 5 …………………. 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Saturday, October 6 ……………… 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Sunday, October 7 …………………. Noon – 5:00 PM

Monday, October 8 ……………….. CLOSED

Regular library hours resume on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.