This guide provides a brief overview of how to find the full text of a case in the UBC Law Library or in electronic format from a legal citation. For situations not covered by this guide, consult a reference librarian.
All cases begin as unpublished cases. Some cases are included in sets of books called law reports; these cases are considered reported. Some cases are never published in law report series; they remain unreported cases.
The following are examples of references to unreported cases and how to find them.
Siddle v Poole (December 3, 1990), Doc CA010943 (BCCA).
British Columbia (Securities Commission) v Branch (February 27, 1990), Doc A882282 (BCSC).
The following are examples of references to reported cases and how to find them.
British Columbia (Securities Commission) v Branch (1990), 68 DLR (4th) 347 (BCSC).
There are many ways to find out the full title of a law report series, including:
There is one other type of citation. Because a case could be unreported or reported in many different law report series, a system of neutral citation was developed in 2000. The citation is assigned by the court. Because cases with neutral citations are newer cases, they should be found in CanLII. Examples follow.
Catalyst Paper Corp v North Cowichan (District), 2012 SCC 2.
Voskoboinikova v Calgary Herald, 2000 ABQB 42.