CanLII Commentary (Tip of the Week)

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By Ken Fox

By this time, everyone knows that primary law (legislation and case law) is free (or cheap at least), but for high-quality legal commentary you need to pay, right?

Perhaps not. Check out CanLII’s Commentary page. Under the heading “Works” there are four texts listed, each available in full at no cost to the user:

The first listed, Lancaster House’s eText on Wrongful Dismissal and Employment Law, is a full-length textbook of 23 chapters, updated four times annually, making it essentially a free online looseleaf service.

The Canadian Charter of Rights Decisions Digest is also a book-length etext. For each section of the Charter, there is an Overview, followed by a series of subheadings, each with summaries of recent cases.

The Commentary page also includes a series of texts produced by The Sedona Conference® Working Group and a lengthy paper on the Supreme Court of Canada’s interpretation of s.24(2) of the Charter.

The texts are individually searchable – just enter the title of the text under “Document title” and your search terms under “Document text” –

tips16Jan2015

With this search, I can access 17 different sections in the Lancaster eText where disability is discussed in a wrongful dismissal context.

And finally, let’s not forget that CanLII’s commentary also includes CanLII Connects, a growing, national source of case comments and summaries.

I can’t say at this stage how fast or how far this free collection of legal texts will grow. My advice is to stay tuned.

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