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The blog of the Great Library

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Ontario Hansard Then and Now

Here’s a handy chronology for finding past and present Ontario Legislative Debates:

1841 – 1953:

Newspaper Hansard, also called Scrapbook Hansard, is a collection of newspaper articles actually clipped from various newspapers whose reporters reported on the goings-on in the Legislature from1841 to 1953. The Scrapbook Hansard has been microfilmed, and the Great Library has the microfilm reels plus a microfilm reader/printer.

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The new McGill Guide has arrived!

The 2018 edition of the McGill Guide, more formally known as the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 9th edition, is now available in the Great Library.

The last five editions of the Guide have been published at regular 4 year intervals. While some previous editions brought unexpected and even controversial changes to Canadian legal citation norms, other new editions, such as the 9th, contain few surprises.

The stated aims of the latest edition are conciseness and accessibility. This has resulted in a few useful changes:

  • the hierarchy of sources for citing decisions has been simplified (Jurisprudence, Rule 3.1)
    • citing a second source is no longer required if your case has a neutral citation – “…a parallel citation is unnecessary where a reference is made to a neutral citation”
    • little-understood “semi-official” print reporters are now lumped in with “Other Sources”
    • where your case has neither a neutral or an official reporter citation, your choice of an available other source should be based on accessibility, reflecting the reality of online case law research
  • throughout the Guide, long tables of examples followed by bulleted lists of instructions have been eliminated in favour of more commentary and a few selective examples presented in shaded boxes in the text.

and enhancements:

  • more guidance on citing online sources, including social media
  • expended coverage of international and EU sources
  • inclusion of rules for citing Indigenous sources, such as constitutional documents, treaties and land claims agreements
  • Tables of Contents at the beginning of each tabbed section

The Great Library’s copies of the current McGill Guide are shelved at KF 245 C36 in the Reference Section on the 2nd floor. We also keep copies of all superseded editions.

And if you need help using the new McGill Guide, or citing materials not covered by its rules. Just ask us.

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What are Nominate Reports?

A few weeks ago we wrote a blog post about bookplates and casually mentioned British nominate reports. Realizing that it is quite an archaic term, some explanation into their significance and their use in the legal world would be beneficial. Referred to as either nominate or nominative reports, these collections of decisions were usually published by individuals.

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New Books for Fall 2018

New titles and updated editions now available at the Great Library:

Administrative Law

Administrative Law in Practice: Principles and Advocacy by Sossin & Lawrence. KF 5402 S67 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Appellate Procedure

Sopinka and Gelowitz on the Conduct of an Appeal, 4th ed., KF 9058 .ZA2 S66 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor. New edition

Class Actions

The Class Action Effect, edited by Piché. KF 8896 .A75 C536 2018 / 1st Floor.

Class Actions in Canada: The Promise and Reality of Access to Justice by Kalajdzic. KF 8896 K34 2018 / 1st Floor.

Environmental Class Actions in Canada by Durocher. KF 3775 .ZA2 D87 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Competition Law

Litigating Competition Law in Canada, edited by Iatrou. KF 1650 .ZA2 L585 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Criminal Law

Indigenous People and the Criminal Justice System: A Practitioner’s Handbook by Rudin. KF 8210.C7 R83 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Prosecuting and Defending Sexual Offence Cases: A Practitioner’s Handbook by Greenspan. KF 9325 B78 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Employment Law

Termination of Employment by Samfiru & Moody. KF 3471 S26 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.


When I Die: Financial Planning for Life and Death 2019 by Duncan. KF 750 D86 2019 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Challenging the Validity of Wills, 2nd ed. by Hull KF 755 H84 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor. New edition

Landlord and Tenant

Residential Tenancies, 11th ed. by Feldman. KF 590 L34 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor. New edition

Legal Writing

Communication and Writing for Paralegals by O’Mara et al. KF 250 O43 2018 / Reference Office, 2nd Floor.

Medical Assistance in Dying

Assisted Death: Legal, Social and Ethical Issues after Carter, edited by Ross. KF 3827 .E87 A88 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.


A Practical Guide to Public Procurement by Cutler. KF 849 C88 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Small Claims

Bennett on Small Claims Court. KF 8769 B46 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.


Surrogacy: Law, Practice and Policy in England and Wales by Cabeza et al. KF 390.5 .H8 C33 2018 / 1st Floor.

And in our circulating collection …

More Tough Crimes: True Cases by Canadian Judges and Criminal Lawyers, edited by Trudell & Shyba. KF 9655 .A2 M67 2017 / Circulating Collection, 2nd Floor.

Women in Criminal Justice: True Cases By & About Canadian Women & the Law, edited by Trudell & Shyba. KF 299 .W6 W66 2018 / Circulating Collection, 2nd Floor.

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How to Trace the History of a Law Society Rule of Professional Conduct

Every so often, we’re asked to find previous versions of a Law Society of Ontario Rule of Professional Conduct. It’s not as straightforward as doing a legislative history of a section of a statute – not that a legislative history is always straightforward!

Believe it or not, the sources you need to trace the history of most Law Society Rules of Professional Conduct can be found on the web. It’s the path to the answer that can be tricky.

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