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Legal Research Survival Guide, Part 4 – Following the Breadcrumbs: Source Notes and How to Use Them

With their jumble of letters, numbers and symbols, legal citations can give researchers quite the headache. While you may have already figured out how to navigate case citations, legislative citations are quite different and can seem even more confusing. One place you may come across legislative citations is in the source notes (or historical notes) found at the end of sections of consolidated law online or in printed statute and regulation revisions. This blog post will help you to decipher and interpret source notes found in statute consolidations.

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Organize and monitor your online legal research

Legal research can get messy fast. The process of finding and understanding the relevant law is rarely linear. It can also take time, cover many sources, both print and electronic, and produce a large volume of results, from commentary to cases. Having a research plan, documenting your process and keeping your results organized are key. Lexbox is a free Google Chrome extension which presents one option for organizing and monitoring your online legal research. Continue reading


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Finding Old Regulations: Part II – Federal

To paraphrase what we said in an earlier post, Finding Old Regulations: Part I – Ontario, finding regulations is much easier now than it used to be. Visiting the Justice Laws website, you can locate official versions of consolidated federal regulations, both current and previous versions (back to March 22, 2006).  Continue reading


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A New Year’s Resolution for Legislative Researchers – Never Assume

When conducting legislative research, it is best not to assume anything. One often-made assumption is that an Act passed by a legislative body during a specific year comes into force during that same year. In reality, many statutes come into force on a date other than the date on which they receive Royal Assent. Continue reading