Find Canadian Case Law

A Case is...

  • a decision a judge renders after hearing all of the arguments in a dispute. The decision may include a lot of detail about the case (key facts, witnesses, etc.), but it does not generally include a script of the actual testimony.
  • decisions are published in case-law reporters. Some reporters focus on a specific subject (e.g., criminal cases). Others focus on a specific jurisdiction (e.g., Ontario cases regardless of the subject).
  • not all cases are reported. Significant cases can, however, be published in more than one reporter.
  • case-law reporters are commonly cited by their abbreviations (e.g., C.R.R. stands for the Canadian Rights Reporter).

Four Ways to Find Citations to Cases

  1. Note key cases cited in footnotes and bibliographies of books and articles on your topic.
  2. Browse indexes to the key case law reporters in your subject area (e.g., civil, criminal, human rights, labour, etc.)
  3. Use a case digesting service. Examples include:
    • Canadian Abridgment, MILLS Periodicals (3rd floor) KE 173.C35?
    • Canadian Charter of Rights Annotated, MILLS Reference (3rd floor) KE 4381 .A29C36, vols. 1-6.
    • Brown & Beatty's Canadian Labour Arbitration, INNIS Reference KE 3206 .B7, current (loose-leaf service)
  4. Search databases containing Canadian case law. Examples include:
    • BestCase - search for Canadian cases by word or phrase, catchline, date, citation, party name, judge, case law reporter, and more.
    • CanLII (Canadian Legal Information Institute) - browse or search for Canadian cases by word, name, citation, date, jurisdiction, etc.
    • LexisNexis Academic * - to search Canadian cases, select Search by Subject or Topic (on main page) > go to the International Legal menu > select Canadian cases in the list; search by word or phrase, case name, citation, date, summary, jurisdiction, court and/or judge.
    • First Resort (Lancaster House) - contains articles and full-text cases dealing with labour, employment and human rights issues across Canada; search by keyword, date and/or jurisdiction.

Key Canadian Case Law Reporters at McMaster

Case Law Reporter Online Format Paper Format
Access via
Location /
Call No.
Alberta Judgments
cited as: A.J.
1954-current; selected significant decisions 1911-1953 LexisNexis* - -
All Canada Weekly Summaries 
cited as:
1977-current BestCase  - -
British Columbia and Yukon Judgments
cited as: B.C.J. and Y.J.
B.C.: partial coverage, 1867-current;
Yukon: partial coverage, 1970-current
LexisNexis* - -
Canada Industrial Relations Board Decisions
cited as: C.I.R.B.D.
Canada Industrial Relations Board
1974-2007 MILLS GovPubs
(2nd floor)
CA1 L 100-D23 &
CA1 L100-R22
Canadian Criminal Cases
cited as: C.C.C.
1898-current BestCase - -
Canadian Human Rights Reporter
cited as: C.H.R.R.
1980-current CHRR Online 1980-2004 MILLS (3rd floor)
KE 4381 .A6C3
Canadian Labour Arbitration Summaries 
cited as: C.L.A.S.
1986-current BestCase - -
Canadian Labour Relations Board Reports
cited as: C.L.R.B.R.
- - 1974 -current MILLS (3rd floor)
KE .C4
Canadian Rights Reporter
cited as: C.R.R.
- - 1982-current MILLS (3rd floor)
JC 599 .C3C36
Criminal Reports
cited as: C.R.
- - 1967-1992 MILLS (3rd floor)
KE .C752
Dominion Law Reports
cited as: D.L.R.
1912-current BestCase 1912-2008 MILLS (3rd floor)
K .D65
Exchequer Court Reports
cited as: Ex. C.R.
1877-1971 LexisNexis* 1895-1970 MILLS GovPubs
(2nd floor)
CA1 J 41-C13
Federal Court Reports = Recueil des decisions des Cour federales
cited as: F.C., C.F., F.C.R. or R.C.F.


Federal Court of Canada
Federal Judicial Affairs Canada
1971- current MILLS GovPubs
(2nd floor)
CA1 J 65-F21
Jugements du Quebec
cited as: J.Q.
1951-current; selected significant decisions 1883-1950 LexisNexis* - -
Labour Arbitration Cases
cited as: L.A.C.
1948-current BestCase 1948-2001 MILLS (3rd floor)
HD 5507 .L2
Land Compensation Reports
cited as: L.C.R.
1971-current BestCase - -
Manitoba Judgments
cited as: M.J.
1960-current; selected significant decisions 1896-1959 LexisNexis* - -
New Brunswick Judgments
cited as: N.B.J.
1947-current; selected significant decisions 1908-1946 LexisNexis* - -
Newfoundland and Labrador Judgments
cited as: N.J.
1970-current; selected significant decisions 1948-1969 LexisNexis* - -
Northwest Territories Judgments
cited as: N.W.T.J.
1970-current LexisNexis*    
Nova Scotia Judgments
cited as: N.S.J.
1948-current; selected significant decisions 1893-1947 LexisNexis* - -
Nunavut Judgments
cited as: Nu. J.
1999-current LexisNexis* - -
Ontario Judgments
cited as: O.J.
1823-current LexisNexis* - -
Ontario Labour Relations Board Reports
cited as: O.L.R.B.R.
1961-2007 MILLS GovPubs
(2nd floor)
CA2 ON LR-054
Ontario Municipal Board Reports
cited as: O.M.B.R.
1972-current BestCase 1982-2008 MILLS (3rd floor)
KEO 866.4 .M86
Ontario Reports
cited as: O.R.
1931-current LexisNexis* 1901-1959
MILLS (3rd floor)
KE. O62a
Pay Equity Reports
cited as: P.E.R.
- - 1990-2003 MILLS GovPubs
(2nd floor)
CA2 ON L270-P22
Prince Edward Island Judgments
cited as: P.E.I.J.
1977-current; selected significant decisions 1922-1969 LexisNexis* - -
Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board
cited as: P.S.L.R.E.B.
[1996-current] Public Service Labour
Relations and Employment Board
1982-2004 MILLS GovPubs
2nd floor)
CA1 CS 25-D21
Saskatchewan Judgments
cited as: S.J.
1959-current LexisNexis* - -
Supreme Court of Canada Decisions, Judgments or Reports 
cited as: S.C.C. ,S.C.J. and S.C.R.
Supreme Court of Canada
1867-2013 MILLS GovPubs
2nd floor)
CA1 J21 - L16
Tax Court of Canada Judgments
cited as: T.C.C.
Tax Court of Canada
- -
Weekly Criminal Bulletin 
cited as: W.C.B.
1977-current BestCase - -
Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal Reporter - Ontario
cited as: W.S.I.A.T. Reporter
Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal
1990-2005 MILLS GovPubs
(2nd floor)
CA2ONL 250-R27

NOTES[YYYY] - Square brackets surrounding dates denotes partial or incomplete coverage for some years in the time range specified.

* LexisNexis Academic contains hundreds of legal sources for Canada and other countries worldwide. Only a selection of titles are highlighted in this table. For a more comprehensive listing of sources, go to LexisNexis directly and search or browse for titles as follows:

To find and search for a specific title within LexisNexis ...  screenshot icon
1. Select Find next to the Source Directory  (top of screen)
2. On the Find Sources screen, select By: Keyword (default) > type the name of a source in the text input box > click the Find Sources button. 
3.  Tick the box beside the relevant title(s) - selected items will appear in the Selected Sources box > click the OK-Continue button. 
4. The selected titles will appear below the Academic Search box on the main page. 

To browse the Canadian legal sources within LexisNexis ... screenshot icon
1. Select Browse next to the Source Directory (top of screen)
2. On the Browse Sources screen, select By: Publication Type (default) or Area of Law > select Filter by: Country > Canada and any other desired variables (e.g., Region > Canadian Federal; Topic).  In the resulting list, click on the desired folders (e.g., Cases or General Legal Sources) to view the sources. 
3. Tick the box beside the relevant title(s) - selected items will appear in the Selected Sources box > click the OK-Continue button
4. The selected titles will appear below the Academic Search box on the main page. 

Last Reviewed: August 18, 2017