• Publication Date: September 17, 2019
  • ISBN: Print (Paperback): 9781552215135
  • ISBN: Digital (PDF): 9781552215142
  • 312 pages; 6" x 9"
Filed Under: Reference; Research

Researching Legislative Intent

A Practical Guide


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Product Description

The use of legislative history and legislative evolution as aids to interpret legislative intent was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1998. Since then, legislative history research has become important to the legal profession. Researching legislative intent, however necessary, is not straightforward. The wealth of materials available requires researchers to understand the legislative process, and to locate and use a variety of parliamentary materials, websites, and libraries.
Researching Legislative Intent: A Practical Guide is the first comprehensive resource that guides researchers through this complex task. Starting with the history of the use of legislative intent in the courts and an overview of the legislative process, this book then provides detailed descriptions of the sources available to compile a legislative history and trace the evolution of statutes and regulations. It also looks at the background of the use of legislative intent in interpreting treaties with Indigenous peoples and provides research checklists. It will be a go-to resource for legal researchers in law firms; academic institutions; and government, courthouse, and law society libraries.

List of Illustrations



Chapter 1: Researching Legislative Intent

Chapter 2: Understanding Statutes: The Process of a Bill

Chapter 3: Intrinsic Aids to Statutory Interpretation

Chapter 4: Extrinsic Aids to Statutory Interpretation: Legislative Debates

Chapter 5: Extrinsic Aids to Statutory Interpretation: Committees

Chapter 6: Extrinsic Aids to Statutory Interpretation: Other Sources

Chapter 7: How to Trace the Legislative Evolution of a Statute

Chapter 8: How to Trace the Legislative History of a Statute

Chapter 9: Interpretation of Treaties with Indigenous Peoples

Chapter 10: Statutory Instruments, Royal Prerogative, and Delegated Legislation

Chapter 11: Tracing the Evolution and History of a Regulation

Appendix 1: Definitions of Regulations

Appendix 2: Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Parliamentary Libraries and Archives in Canada

Appendix 3: Process of a Bill



About the Authors

This is the first time we’ve seen a comprehensive resource that takes researchers through the sometimes-difficult task of researching both federal and provincial legislation. It is written by legal information professionals for legal information professionals, lawyers, and anyone who finds themselves researching federal and provincial legislation in Canada. . . . It is easy to see why this publication was shortlisted for CALL/ACBD’s prestigious 2020 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing. It is easy to read and doesn’t get caught up in technicalities. The detailed table of contents, the handy checklists found throughout the book, the glossary, and the index are all very well put together. The authors refer to numerous helpful resources and tell you where to find them. The footnotes throughout lead to other excellent materials.
Ann Marie Melvie, Law Librarian, Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan
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