This guide adopts the style outlined in the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 5th ed., McGill Law Journal/Carswell, 2002.


PART I - LEGISLATION

                PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION - STATUTES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Statutes are published at the end of each parliamentary session. About every twenty years, all of the sessional volumes are pulled together along with all existing statutes, into one complete set of statutes in alphabetical order, called the revised statutes.

The Statutes of British Columbia were last revised in 1996. The majority of acts will thus be cited R.S.B.C. 1996, for Revised Statutes of British Columbia 1996.

If a British Columbia statute was passed after 1996 and is in a sessional volume, it is cited as S.B.C., for Statutes of British Columbia.

If citing a specific section of an act, add the section number at the end.

EXAMPLE 1

Treaty Commission Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 461, s. 5(1).
Treaty Commission Act, Revised Statutes of British Columbia 1996,
chapter 461, section 5, subsection 1, cited to the official printed version.


 

The government website for the statutes is The Revised Statutes and Consolidated Regulations of British Columbia. More current versions of BC statutes and regulations are available through QP LegalEze. If citing a statute to a government web site, put online: name of the website <URL> at the end of the citation.

EXAMPLE 2

Emergency Contraceptive Access Act, S.B.C. 2001, c. 11, online: The Revised Statutes and Consolidated Regulations of British Columbia <http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/>.
Emergency Contraceptive Access Act, Statutes of British Columbia 2001,
chapter 11, cited to the online version on the B.C. government website.

 

The statutes of Canada and the provinces are also available on electronic legal services, such as QuickLaw and QP LegalEze (BC statutes only). If citing to an electronic service such as these, put QL or QPLE in brackets at the end of the citation.

EXAMPLE 3

Parental Responsibility Act, S.B.C. 2001, c. 45, (QPLE).
Parental Responsibility Act, Statutes of British Columbia 2001, chapter 45,
found in QP LegalEze.

 

2.             FEDERAL LEGISLATION - STATUTES OF CANADA
The Statutes of Canada were last revised in 1985. The majority of acts will thus be cited R.S.C. 1985, for Revised Statutes of Canada. The chapter number includes the initial letter of the name of the act.

EXAMPLE 4

Privacy Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-21.
Privacy Act, Revised Statutes of Canada 1985, chapter P-21, cited to the
official printed version.

 

If a federal act was passed after 1985, it is cited as S.C. for Statutes of Canada. In this case, chapters are indicated by numbers only, with no initial letters. If citing a section of an act, add the section number at the end.

EXAMPLE 5

Nunavut Act, S.C. 1993, c. 28, s. 5(2).
Nunavut Act, Statutes of Canada 1993, chapter 28, section 5, subsection 2, cited to a sessional volume of the official printed version.

 

The government web site of the statutes is Consolidated Statutes and Regulations of Canada. It is updated to within two months of the current date. If citing a statute to a government web site, put online: name of the website <URL> at the end of the citation.

EXAMPLE 6

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 318(1`), online: Department of Justice Canada <http://laws.justice.gc.ca>.
Criminal Code, Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, chapter C-46, section 318, subsection 1, cited to the online version on the Canadian
government website.

 

Since the Charter of Rights is not an independent enactment, it is cited as Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982.
 

EXAMPLE 7

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. 15, Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (U.K.), 1982, c.11.
This citation is to the official printed version. A citation to the online version would require the same information included above for the Criminal Code.
Note the placement of the charter section number (s. 15).

 

PART II - CASE LAW
The rule for case law is to cite to the printed reporter. This may be followed by a neutral citation to an online source as a parallel citation. If only the neutral citation is available, it may be used alone. Only cite to an electronic service such as QuickLaw if no neutral citation exists. (See the online handout entitled: Research Guide to Case Law.)

 

3.             TRADITIONAL FORM OF LEGAL CITATION
When citing to a printed law reporter, the traditional form of legal citation requires these elements:

case name (also known as style of cause) in italics
year of decision in round brackets followed by a comma
[or a comma, then the year of publication in square brackets if the year is needed to identify the book]
volume number
abbreviated title of the reporter
series number in brackets, if included
page
court abbreviation in brackets, only if not included in the reporter name

 

EXAMPLE 8

R. v. Latimer (1995), 126 D.L.R. (4th) 203 (Sask. C.A.).
R. v. Latimer is the case name, 1995 is the year of the decision, volume
126 clearly identifies the exact volume so the year does not need to be in
square brackets, D.L.R. for Dominion Law Reports, 4th series, case
beginning on page 203, as heard by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal
which is abbreviated Sask. C.A.

 

The S.C.R. (Supreme Court of Canada Reports) use square brackets. Put the comma before the date of the volume. Do not put the (S.C.C.) court abbreviation at the end of the citation, as the name of the court has been included in the reporter name.

EXAMPLE 9

Vancouver Society of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women v. Minster of National Revenue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 10.
Vancouver Society of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women v. Minister of
National Revenue is the case name, [1999] is the year of publication and
needs to be in square brackets because volume 1 does not uniquely
identify the book, S.C.R. for Supreme Court Reports, the case beginning
on page 10.

 

4.             NEUTRAL CITATION
A neutral citation permits identification of a case independent of a printed reporter. Courts assign the neutral citation when they render a decision. Starting in 2000, judgments from the courts in electronic form are cited using neutral citation.

Neutral citation is simplified and includes only these elements:
case name (also known as style of cause) in italics followed by a comma
year or date of decision without any brackets
court identifier without periods
decision or docket number(s)


The court assigns the neutral citation when the decision is rendered, so a very recent case will have only a neutral citation until it is included in a printed reporter. If only the neutral citation is available, it may be used alone.

EXAMPLE 10

R. v. Coulson, 2003 BCSC 144.
In this recent British Columbia Supreme Court case, R. v. Coulson is the
case name, 2003 is the year of decision, BCSC is the court identifier, and
144 is the case number.


 

The rule is to cite to the printed reporter, followed by the neutral citation as a parallel citation, when both are available.

 

EXAMPLE 11

R. v. Latimer, [2001] 1 S.C.R. 3, 2001 SCC 1.
This latest appeal of the Latimer case has a parallel neutral citation, which
follows the printed reporter citation.


 

6.             CITATION TO AN ELECTRONIC SERVICE
Only cite to an electronic service such as QuickLaw if no neutral citation exists. Citation to a case found on QuickLaw includes these elements:

case name (also known as style of cause) in italics followed by a comma
date of decision in square brackets
QuickLaw database identifier abbreviated with periods
case number assigned by the electronic service beginning with No.
court abbreviation in brackets
QL in brackets


 

EXAMPLE 12

Legal Services Society v. British Columbia (Information and Privacy Commissioner), [2003] B.C.J. No. 1093 (B.C.C.A.) (QL).
This recent British Columbia Court of Appeal case is cited to QuickLaw
from the B.C.J. for British Columbia Judgments database.

 

 

PART III BOOKS AND ARTICLES

 

THE COMPLETE CITATION

The first time a work is cited in a footnote or endnote complete bibliographical information should be given.

 

EXAMPLES FOR BOOKS

 

A full citation includes author's name, title (italicized), volume number (if any), place of publication, publisher, date and pinpoint. (A pinpoint is a reference to a specific page or paragraph number.)

 

EXAMPLE 13: One author

1 G. Parker, An Introduction to Criminal Law (Toronto: Methuen, 1983) at 73.

 



EXAMPLE 14: Joint authors

 

2 R.H. Floyd, C.S. Gray & R.P. Short, Public Enterprises in Mixed Economies (Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund, 1984).

 

 

EXAMPLE 15: More than three authors, cite only the first author and use "et al.":

 

 

3 J.B. Laskin et al., Debtor and Creditor: Cases, Notes, and Materials, 2d ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982).

 

 

 

EXAMPLE 16: Editor of a collection as author

 

4 W.T. McGrath, ed., Crime and its Treatment in Canada (Toronto: Gage Publishing Limited, 1980).

 

 

EXAMPLES OF JOURNAL ARTICLES

 

A full citation includes author's name, title of article (in quotes), year of publication, volume number, name of journal, page and pinpoint.

 

 

EXAMPLE 17: One author

 

5 M.R. Goode, "Mens Rea in Corpore Reo: An Exploration of the Rapists' Charter" (1983) 7 Dalhousie L. J. 447 at 448.

 

 

 

 

EXAMPLE 17: Joint authors

 

6 G.A. Ferguson & D.W. Roberts, "Plea Bargaining: Directions for Canadian Reform" (1974) 52 Can. Bar Rev. 497 at 503.

 

 

 

 

SHORTENED FORM OF CITATION

 

Use this shortened form only when complete citation has already been used in an earlier footnote or endnote. Include only author's surname, a reference to the earlier footnote or endnote, and the page references. Please note that supra is Latin for "above"). If the work being cited is the same as that immediately above it, Ibid., may be used.

 

 

EXAMPLE 18:

 

7 Parker, supra note 1 at 8.

 

 

EXAMPLE 19:

 

9 Ibid. at 10.

 

 

Sources: Guide to Legal Citation, Douglas College http://www.douglas.bc.ca/library/legal.html

Carleton University, Department of Law, Legal Style Sheet for Term Papers. http://www2.carleton.ca/law/current/Legal_Style_Sheet.pdf