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Law Basic Primers


Court and tribunal decisions together form the primary case law of Canada. They are published in both online databases and print reporters. Not every decision is reported, and many are only available online. 

Court case decisions are those handed down by the federal, provincial, and territorial courts established under the Canadian Constitution. Learn more about the Canadian court system

Administrative tribunal decisions are those handed down by specialized governmental agencies established by federal, provincial, and territorial legislation, to adjudicate on matters arising from their regulatory processes. Learn more about administrative tribunals.

Case Law

These databases can be used to access case law from all levels and jurisdictions of judicial bodies in the country. Including, Federal, Provincial, and Territorial courts, boards and tribunals.

1. Search the fulltext for case decisions by using the the case name or style of cause. 

2. Search the fulltext of case decisions by using keywords:

  • Specific facts of a case - what happened, who was involved, dates, times, etc.

  • The legal issues that arise from the facts

Comprehensive Sources:

Federal Courts - Case Law

Federal Court of Canada

Supreme Court of Canada

Tax Court of Canada

Military Courts

Boards and Tribunals


Case Law Part 1 (7 slides, approx 6 mins), Case Law Part 2 (8 slides, approx 7 mins). Self-paced with voice over. Click on the Notes tab to read the transcript. Full series of UA Library law tutorials available at Legal Research: An Introduction


If you are an individual researching a personal legal matter you may wish to use case law. In addition to your own research, you should also obtain the advice of a qualified legal professional. Determining whether a case can be used as a precedent in a later case often requires detailed analysis of the various facts and legal issues involved, which requires professional legal understanding and advice. The University of Alberta Law Library does not provide any form of legal advice.