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Legal Citations: Home


All research sources must be properly cited including statutes, case law, and other sources.  This allows the reader to identify the documents that you refer to, provide them with additional information about the statute or case, and make your argument easy to follow.

Fleming College uses Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citations, also referred to as McGill Guide for legal citations.

Primary vs. Secondary Sources of Law

What are PRIMARY resources?

For the purpose of this subject guide, primary legal documents are cases, statutes (laws), regulations and parliamentary materials such as bills and debates (Hansard).

What are SECONDARY resources?

Secondary sources are materials that discuss, explain, analyze, and critique the law. They discuss the law, but are not the law itself. Secondary sources will help you learn about an area of law, and provide you with citations to relevant primary materials.

Legal commentary, or secondary sources, include encyclopedias, books and articles on your topic. Unless you already know the specific case or piece of legislation you need, it is often simplest to start with a secondary source, particularly one written by a legal expert. An article or book of authority (textbook) will usually point you to key cases or legislation.


Some legal resources, such as Quicklaw or CanLII, include both primary and secondary information. 

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