Improve your results with search tips from HeinOnline and CanLII

How to search the catalog

Tip of the Week: How to Search the Catalog

HeinOnline has a large collection with multiple ways of searching so it can sometimes be difficult to know if your search is getting the results you are looking for. This tip explains how users can search the actual catalog records for a thorough result. Searching the catalog is a little different that doing a broad search as it uses the Machine Readable Coding used to identify each item.

Check the tip to see simple one-box search methods, or dive deeper into advanced searches. You can even take a look at the Catalog Subjects tool to browse through subject headings.

A guide to using search filters on CanLII

CanLII Pro Tip: A Guide to Using Search Filters on CanLII

CanLII is another resource with a large database. Typing in a simple keyword or phrase can bring up thousands of results. One method to narrow that down is to use filters. This tip gives a great overview of how to limit results for cases, legislation, and commentary by using filters like jurisdiction, dates, and subjects.

Still can’t find what you are looking for? Email us at and we can help you with using these resources or track down what you’re looking for.

Adding Foreign Content to your Legal Research

When should you consider reviewing decisions from foreign jurisdictions when conducting legal research? Does it depend on the issue – is it so localized that only Manitoba decisions will be persuasive? Or is it national in scope, so looking at other Canadian jurisdictions is helpful? Or, do you need to go even further, to international common law jurisdictions?

The authors of A Global Community of Courts? Modelling the Use of Persuasive Authority as a Complex Network examined the contents of the vLex database (available to you behind the Members Portal) “to quantify the flow of jurisprudence across the countries in our corpus and to explore the factors that may influence a judge’s selection of foreign jurisprudence.”

If judges are looking at it, shouldn’t you? Our subscription to vLex includes Canadian, U.S. and U.K. decisions. If you need help using it, review our guide or view the introductory webinar available after signing in to the members portal.

There is a growing discussion in the legal literature of an emerging global community of courts composed of a network of increasing judicial dialogue across national borders. We investigate the use of foreign persuasive authority in common law countries by analyzing the network of citations to case law in a corpus of over 1.5 million judgments given by the senior courts of twenty-six common law countries.

A Global Community of Courts? Modelling the Use of Persuasive Authority as a Complex Network

Tracking down Court Records

Court records or docket information aren’t always the easiest things to find. When you do find them it can be another step trying to access them. Then it gets even harder when you are dealing with other provinces and jurisdictions.

Luckily there is a great resource from the University of Windsor Paul Martin Law Library to help navigate court systems Canada wide. Click below to take a look.

Canadian Court Records/Dockets

Examples of court record table

The table has information from all provinces and territories, as well as the Supreme court and Federal Courts. Here, you can find information like decisions, dockets, registries, policies, and fees.

This helpful table was put together by Sarah Richmond and with help from CALL/ACBD members across Canada.

New eBooks available from CanLII and desLibris

Canlli and have added to their collection of eBooks with 13 new titles, with a range of different legal topics. These eBooks are collected from authors and compiled to make legal research easier.

Check out the new titles here, or read the CanLII blog for more information

These titles are now available on desLibris. Log in to the Member’s Portal and click on Library Resources to get access.

The Law of Property provides an introduction to property law that is meant to be accessible to law students and readers with little to no legal background. It explores and explains the variety of different property rights that exist in Canadian law, the ways in which property rights can be created or transferred to others, and the resolution of disputes between people who claim competing property rights to the same thing. This book presents a thorough and enjoyable analysis of the law of property that will help readers understand both the subject as a whole and its finer details.

United Nations Law, Politics, and Practice explores the important events that shaped the United Nations under different Secretaries-General, describes the legal framework in which it operates, and discusses its politics and practice from an insider’s viewpoint. It provides sufficient information on the UN’s evolution, structure, functioning, and activities in order to empower readers to form their own thoughts about the strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures of the UN. Students, professors, lawyers, diplomats, international public servants, and those with any interest in international relations or international law will consider this book a valuable resource examining the world’s most prominent intergovernmental organization.

The Canadian Class Action Review, Vol. 16, No. 2

  • Book Review: Defending Class Actions In Canada: A Guide For Defendants Michael A Crystal And Maria Khan
  • Flash Boys Class Actions: Civil Fraud, Conspiracy, And The Certifiability Of High-Frequency Trading Cases In Canada Lindsay Frame
  • An Overview Of Class Actions And Covid-19 In Ontario’s Long-Term Care Facilities Jordan Assaraf
  • The Unworkability Of The Workable Methodology Standard Kate Boyle And Nicholas Hooper United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Class Actions And Corporate Hegemony Rebecca Meharchand
  • The Limits Of Case Management: A Review And Principled Approach To The Court’s General Management Powers Paul-Erik Veel, Adil Abdulla, And Angela Hou
  • Determining A Fair Price For Carriage?: Applying A “Fee-Driven” Factor And Reverse Auctions To Adjudicating Carriage Motions In Ontario Timothy Law

Compare Legislation Changes Easily with CanLII

Historical legal research is now even easier thanks to an updated legislation comparison tool from CanLII.

Users can now select two versions of an act from Federal and Provincial legislation to see what text has been changed between them. Simply click on “Versions”, choose two versions, and hit “Compare”.

Scroll through the text side by side to quickly note any differences. Text will be highlighted in red and green to show what has been removed and added.

The font and formatting of each act has also been standardized to make it easier to compare. CanLII also automatically hides any large sections of unchanged text, so scrolling and loading times are now quicker.

Try it out yourself, or learn more about this handy tool on the CanLII Blog.