Law and Society: Citing

In Canadian law there is one guide we use for legal citation called "The Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation" that is sometimes referred to as "The McGill Guide" or "Redbook". We have a copy of this guide in the Laurier Brantford Collection (KE259. C36 2014).

Canadian legal citation resembles Chicago Manual of Style in that it uses footnotes rather than in-text citations. When citing you always include the full citation the first time it is mentioned and then use abbreviations and the Latin phrases (Ibid and supra) for all citations after. Below are a few standard examples of how to cite, but when in doubt always refer to the McGill Guide as this is by no means an exhaustive list.

How to cite a case:
When citing a case you need to include the parties involved and the date and court it was heard in. In the below example, the two parties involved are "R" (Latin for Rex or Regina, or the Crown) and Boutilier. The case was decided in 2017 in the Supreme Court of Canada and it was the 64th case heard that year.
eg. R. v. Boutilier, 2017 SCC 64.
Furthermore, when citing you may need to refer to a specific paragraph within the case if you are directly quoting or using specific information found in a particular paragraph. If you are citing the above case and a phrase within paragraph three, you would do that as follows;
eg. R. v. Boutilier, 2017 SCC 64 at para 3.
How to cite an online source:
When working on an assignment, for example a case brief, you may want to use information outside of the case itself. If you end up using a website there is a standard way to cite it.
Author(s), Title of the page (date created), online: Title of the host website <web address>
eg. Devon Kapoor, R v Boutilier: The Dangerous Offender Regime and the Spectre of Indeterminate Sentences (January 2018), online: The <
Using one source multiple times:
As previously mentioned, the first time you use a source in your paper you provide the complete citation in a footnote. Subsequent citations may use ibid or supra. If your footnote is referring to the same source in the immediately preceding footnote you use ibid as a short from rather than having to repeat the full citation.
eg. 1. R. v. Boutilier, 2017 SCC 64.
2. Ibid.
If your footnote is referring to something you have already cited that is not immediately preceding you use supra and make reference to the citation it refers to.
eg. 11. R. v. Morgentaler [1988] 1 SCR 30.
12. McGowan, supra note 2.