Structure of Canadian Law

The resources on this page can help you to learn about how laws are made and how the legal system functions. Some provide a historical context for the governance of Canada.

To access a series of narrated presentations about the legal structure of Canada, see the subsection:


Alberta

Legislative Assembly of Alberta


The Legislative Assembly website provides links to information about the Members of Legislative Assembly, Bills and Amendments, Assembly Documents and Records, Public Information, and Assembly Support Services as well as other information.  
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Provincial and territorial government departments (99)
 

British Columbia

How a Bill Becomes Law in BC


This resource from the Courthouse Libraries of BC explains how a Bill becomes a law in the province of BC.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135)

Legislative Assembly of British Columbia


The website for the Legislative Assembly of BC has information pertaining to the most current session as well as prior sessions. It includes sections about members, proceedings, legislation, committees, and an online version of Hansard (Debates). There is visitor information and an education resource titled “Discover your Legislature”.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Provincial and territorial government departments (99)
 

Canada / Federal

About Canada - Canada's Legal Tradition


The ABOUT CANADA publication, produced by the Canadian Studies Department at Mount Allison University, is a series of brief analytical overviews of modern Canadian issues and culture, written in a 3500-word newsletter format and in a style accessible to a general audience.This issue discusses how the Canadian legal system has evolved as Canada has evolved, and is today one of the unifying elements in a pluralistic society.
Related keywords: Citizenship and nationality (16), Legal history (27)

Bijurilex: Canadian Legislative Bijuralism Site (Department of Justice)


This Web site is dedicated to Canadian Legislative Bijuralism. It is offered as a resource and as a place to share and promote knowledge in this field. This site offers a range of reference materials that shed light on some of the issues and challenges raised in context of legislative bijuralism.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135)

Building a Just Society: A Retrospective of Canadian Rights and Freedoms


Building a Just Society is an eclectic Web exhibition created by Library and Archives Canada to mark the 25th aniversary of Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms (adopted April 17, 1982). It is a historical collection of records (images, articles, books, etc.) about the governance and political culture in Canada, and the achievement of Canadian rights and freedoms.
Related keywords: Charter of Rights (19), Legal history (27)

Canada in the Making


This site is about the history of Canada through the words of the men and women who shaped the nation. Built around the Government Documents collection of the Early Canadiana Online collection, it integrates narrative text with links to primary source texts. The site has been designed for students and teachers of Canadian studies, history and law, but will also be useful to researchers and anyone else interested in Canada's past.
Related keywords: Classroom materials (72), Constitutional law (10), Legal history (27)

Canada's Court System (Department of Justice)


This site is developed by Justice Canada and provides a general description of the court system in Canada – the types, levels of courts, their responsibilities and links to federal courts.
Related keywords: Legal process (100)

Canada's System of Justice (Department of Justice)


This booklet created by the Department of Justice Canada will help readers understand what the law is, where it comes from, what it is for, and how it operates. It does not give complete answers to these questions, but offers a brief outline of Canada's laws and the whole justice system.
Related keywords: Administration of justice (30)

Charter of Rights and Freedoms FAQs


This online resource is a publication of the Canadian Legal FAQs, a website of the Legal Resource Centre. This resource provides information about: what the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is; the relationship between the Charter and criminal law; what happens if a law conflicts with the Charter; how the Charter affects criminal investigations, trials and punishments; how the Charter affects the role of the Crown Prosecutor in criminal investigations; how judges are affected by the Charter; where you can find information about leading cases decided under the Charter; and where you can online information about the Charter.
Related keywords: Charter of Rights (19)

Constitutional Documents of Canada


The constitutional development of Canada is important in understanding how the political system has developed and why  the challenges and opportunities of today have evolved. The process is ongoing and is vital in addressing the issues of regional alienation and the potential resolution of those tensions.
Related keywords: Legal history (27)

Glossary of Parliamentary Procedure


This Glossary of Parliamentary Procedure is produced by Procedural Services of the House of Commons for the information of the general public.
Related keywords: Political process and voting (36)

Guide to Making Federal Acts and Regulations (Privy Council Office)


This Guide describes the steps to be followed to transform policy into Federal Acts and regulations, which are forms of written law generally referred to as "legislation." It also outlines the roles of the participants in this process. The Guide also serves as a reference for those already involved in law-making and as a training tool for those who are becoming involved for the first time.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Public policy (42)

How a Bill Becomes Law in Canada


This resource from Courthouse Libraries BC explains how a Bill becomes an Act, or Statute, in Canada.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135)

How Canadians Govern Themselves (Parliament of Canada)


The late Senator Eugene Forsey’s popular booklet on the Canadian system of governance has been revised and given a fresh new look. This 7th Edition is now available online and for download in PDF format.
Related keywords: Citizenship and nationality (16), Political process and voting (36)

Official Languages in the Constitution (Canadian Heritage)


The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It takes precedence over all other laws and enshrines our society's most fundamental values. In Canada, our linguistic duality is one such fundamental value, and our Constitution makes English and French the two official languages of our country.

Related keywords: Constitutional law (10)

Parliament of Canada


The official website for the Parliament of Canada.
Related keywords: Federal government departments (80)

Voter Information Service (Elections Canada)


The Voter Information Service provides information on your electoral district and member of Parliament. Searches can be made using postal codes, candidate names, maps, provinces, keywords, or addresses.
Related keywords: Political process and voting (36)
 

Manitoba

Legislative Assembly of Manitoba


This is the official website of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Provincial and territorial government departments (99)
 

New Brunswick

How a Bill Becomes Law (New Brunswick)


This resource from the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick explains the process of a Bill becoming a Law.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135)

Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick


The official site for the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Provincial and territorial government departments (99)
 

Newfoundland and Labrador

House of Assembly Newfoundland


This site contains the publications of, and information about, the House of Assembly and the House of Assembly Management Commission. The site also includes the legislation of the province including consolidations of the province's statutes and regulations.
Related keywords: Provincial and territorial government departments (99)
 

Northwest Territories

Legislative Assembly of Northwest Territories


This website of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories offers information on their unique style of governance as well as legislative information.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135)
 

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Legislature


The Nova Scotia Legislature, consisting of the Lieutenant Governor and the House of Assembly, is the legislative branch of the provincial Government of Nova Scotia, Canada. The website provides information about the people, proceedings, committees and library of the legislature. You can learn about the history of the building (a National Historic site) and ways to get involved.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Provincial and territorial government departments (99)
 

Nunavut

Legislative Assembly of Nunavut


This Assembly is one of two such bodies in Canada that works on a non-partisan,consensus basis. Among the many distinctive features of the Nunavut Legislative Assembly is the use of both English and Inuktitut in the proceedings of the House.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Provincial and territorial government departments (99)
 

Ontario

How a Bill Becomes Law (Ontario)


Access to resources that explain the Ontario legislative process, track Ontario bills as they proceed through the Legislature, and provide the legislative history of bills.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135)

Legislative Assembly of Ontario


The website for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario has information pertaining to the most current session as well as prior sessions. It also has information on law making, bills and legislation and MPP's. This website also has visitor information.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Provincial and territorial government departments (99)
 

Prince Edward Island

Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island


This is the website of the legislative branch of Prince Edward Island's parliamentary system of government. Here you'll find information about what goes on in the Legislative Assembly, how business is conducted, and how laws are made. You can access videos of the daily sittings, live or through the video archive, and get a feel for your 'government in action.' This site also contains the publications of the Legislative Assembly, including online access to Journals, Hansard transcripts, and provincial statutes. You can also access live and archival streaming video and audio of the proceedings.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Provincial and territorial government departments (99)
 

Québec

National Assembly (Quebec)


The National Assembly is the place where Québec’s elected representatives debate questions of public interest and exercise their roles as legislators and overseers. The website includes information about members and proceedings (bills, committees, debates) as well as information about how to voice your opinion. A section called “ABC’s of the Assembly” explains the workings of the assembly, MNAs and committees. Some sections of the site are French only.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Provincial and territorial government departments (99)
 

Saskatchewan

Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan


The Legislative Assembly, which is the province's parliament, plays a vital role in the life of every citizen in Saskatchewan. The website includes information about the MLAs, hansard (debates), bills and publications. There are sections with information for visitors, students and teachers.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Provincial and territorial government departments (99)
 

Yukon

Yukon Legislative Assembly


The official site of the Yukon Legislative Assembly.
Related keywords: Legislative materials (135), Provincial and territorial government departments (99)