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There are a
number of good free law-related reference tools
online. Included below are links to these free
resources, along with selected links to various
subscription references tools (you will require your
Search engines / Internet directories
Legal Dictionaries / Words & Phrases /
4) Legal Directories [top]
Miscellaneous Reference Tools [top]
Forms & Precedents [top]
There are not
really any good or reliable law-related forms and
precedents online for free. As such, below are links
to various commercial subscriptions:
- Division I, Commercial and
- Division II, Corporations
- Division III,
Conveyancing and Mortgages
- Division IV, Leases
- Division V, Wills and
- Division VII, Labour
Relations and Employment
- Division VIII, Ontario –
- Division IX, Municipal
- Division X, Computers and
- Banking & Finance -
Canadian Forms & Precedents
- British Columbia Court
Forms (Family Law Proceedings)
- Commercial Tenancies
- Information Technology and
- Intellectual Property Forms
- Land Development
- Municipal Law
- Sale, Distribution &
Transport of Goods
- Sale and Operation of a
- Wills & Estates
Current Awareness Tools [top]
blogs, see the Law Blogs
section on this site
see the Newspapers section
on this site.
Web Guides for Legal Research [top]
10) Law Reform
Commission Reports [top]
Most common law jurisdictions
have law reform commissions which are typically
government sponsored to examine laws and make
recommendations for changes in the law. Although law
reform commissions had their "heyday" in Canada in
the 1970's, some are still active and even the older
reports are useful for historical research:
A useful database of law reform
commission reports is available online from the BC Law
Institute in their Law
Reform Database (where individual reports in
the database are available online, links are
provided to those reports).
For links to law reform agencies
in other jurisdictions, see the list of links here
from the the Paul Martin Law Library at the
University of Windsor.
For an excellent overview of law
reform agencies, see:
- Gavin Murphy, "Law Reform
Agencies" (Department of Justice, 2004)
(Catalogue No J2-247/2004E-PDF) (PDF:
EN) (126 pages)
- WH Hurlburt, "Law Reform
Commissions in the United Kingdom, Australia and
Canada" (Edmonton: Juriliber, 1986) (publisher's
In addition, the following is a
selected list of academic journal articles
discussing the role of law reform in Canada:
- Alexander Geddes, " How to
Change Laws Without Changing the Law: Problems
with the Presumption of Substantive Change for
Plain Language Reforms" (2020) 51 Ottawa L. Rev. 109.
- Bill Charles, "The Story of
Law Reform in Nova Scotia: A Perilous Enterprise"
(Fall 2017) 40 Dalhousie L.J. 339.
- Martin Friedland,
"Reflections on Criminal Justice Reform in Canada"
(Aug. 2017) 64 Crim. L.Q. 274.
- Michael Kirby, "Forty Years
of the Alberta Law Reform Institute: Past,
Present, Future" (2009) 46 Alta L Rev 831.
- Roderick Macdonald, "A
Lamentation for Law Reform" (2009) 46 Sup Ct L.
Rev (2d) 447.
- Roderick Macdonald, "Jamais
deux sans trois ... Once Reform, Twice Commission,
Thrice Law" (2007) 22 Can JL & Society 117
here on HeinOnline by subscription).
- Roderick Macdonald & Hoi
Kong, "Patchwork Law Reform: Your Idea is Good in
Practice, but it Won't Work in Theory" (2006) 44 Osgoode Hall LJ 11.
- Andrew Burrows, "Some
Reflections on Law Reform in England and Canada"
(2004) 39 Can Bus LJ 320 (available
here on HeinOnline by subscription).
- Peter North, "Law Reform:
Problems and Pitfalls" (1999) 33 UBC L Rev 37
here on HeinOnline by subscription)
- WH Hurlburt, "The Origins and
Nature of Law Reform Commissions in the Canadian
Provinces: a Reply to 'Recommissioning Law Reform'
by Professor RA Macdonald" (1997) 35 Alta L Rev 880.
In addition, Manas Media
has a collection of over 7200 microfiched law reform
publications from 37 jurisdictions indexed by 6
major categories and 61 subcategories.
Research and Writing:
Published: January 2016
Canadian Online Legal Dictionary (click here)