Skip to main content


Legal research starting points

This chart provides an overview of the hierarchy of Canada's Court System. Text version linked.

When starting legal research it can be helpful to review relevant systems. The Department of Justice provides a concise overview of Canada's judicial system. Understanding the court system is also essential for case law research and is summarized by the Department of Justice overview of Canada's Court Systems and the Canadian Judicial Council overview of the Division of Powers. As courts have changed names over time, this chart of court names by jurisdiction can be useful when researching historic cases.

Research checklists

When researching, it can be useful to consult a checklist to make sure that you have consulted all relevant resources. Not all resources listed on checklists will be relevant for all legal research, and researchers can decide what resources are needed to support their analysis.