Day: June 11, 2014

Tips from the Editor – Canadian Legal Citation: Parallel Citation

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By Kelly Laycock


It’s time for some more legal grammar. My first post of this kind, Case Law Coleslaw, dealt with the variety of formats for the style of cause, as well as an introduction to the neutral citation. This second post deals with parallel citations from other sources.

The McGill Guide suggests using at least two sources when citing a case [1]. It doesn’t say how many is sufficient, but as the University of Ottawa Library (UofO) suggests, “A good rule of thumb is to include one parallel citation, and thus 3 references in total (neutral, core, parallel)”. The first citation should always be the neutral citation, where it exists, because since its inception in 1999, the neutral citation has become the quickest and most reliable way of finding a judgment in one of the many online databases. It contains some of the most pertinent information: the date, the level of court, jurisdiction and the number of the case.    Read the rest of this entry »