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Canada Legal Research Guide: Home

Guide to Canadian primary and secondary legal resources available at the UW Law Library and online.


Canada is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. Parliament consists of a bicameral legislature composed of the House of Commons (elected) and the Senate (appointed).

Power is distributed between the federal and provincial governments. Jurisdiction is determined by the area of law. Generally, any area of law not specifically belonging to the provincial government falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

The Canadian legal system is based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on French law prevails.

For more information about the Canadian legal system and sources of law, see Reynolds and Flores' Foreign Law Guide.

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