First Ever Citation Guide for the Courts of Saskatchewan, part 1

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By Ann Marie Melvie, Librarian, Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan
and Joanne V. Colledge-Miller, MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP

CitationGuideYou have likely heard there is a new Citation Guide for the Courts of Saskatchewan. Its purpose is to provide a standard set of citation rules for use in and by the courts of Saskatchewan.

You may wonder why a guide such as this is needed. After all, for years now, many lawyers and courts have used the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (McGill Guide). Why the need to create a different one for Saskatchewan?

We have been very appreciative of the McGill Guide and the work that went into writing it every four years. But there were concerns with the 7th edition published in 2010.  For example, it removed periods from citations to case law, legislation, and secondary sources, an approach not agreed upon by everyone. This change in the 7th edition was the impetus for us to conduct a thorough review of legal citation in Saskatchewan, which eventually led to the development of the Guide.

The Guide is available in PDF on the Courts of Saskatchewan website. It contains a table of contents, a two-page quick reference guide, and detailed explanations and examples of each citation pattern. It is 21 pages long, and covers basic legal citation structure. For more complex citation questions not covered by the Guide, you will still want to consult the McGill Guide.

Our Guide stresses the importance of the neutral citation and mandates its use in any citation if one exists for the decision cited. Where a case is pulled from an electronic database rather than being read in a print report, the Guide requires the electronic source be identified in certain circumstances, and it introduces a hybrid approach in relation to periods. More in-depth discussion of each of these points and other aspects of the Guide will appear in future posts on this blog.

So what does all of this mean for you?

Two things: It means that all submissions you make to the Saskatchewan courts will have to conform to the Guide; and it means that in conforming to the Guide, you will have a standard, easily accessible set of rules to follow.

Keep an eye on this blog for future posts about the Guide, which is available here.

This is part 1 of a 7-part series on the Citation Guide for the Courts of SaskatchewanPart 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

Ann Marie Melvie is the Librarian at the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan, having served in this position since 2001. She received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan and her diploma as a Library Technician from SIAST.

Joanne V. Colledge-Miller is currently an associate at MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP, practicing in the areas of commercial litigation and class actions.

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