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1L - First Year Lesson Topics

Researching Canadian Law: Federal Statute Approach

This is an introductory lesson on Canadian legal research. This particular lesson treats research techniques and sources from the perspective that you are faced with a statute based problem. A second separate lesson treats Canadian legal research from the perspective that you have a case based problem. The lessons assume no knowledge of the areas, but treat basic research in Canadian federal statutes, administrative material, and cases.

Researching Foreign Customary Law

The purpose of this lesson is to provide an introduction to customary law systems and to offer suggestions for researching the laws of countries where customary law is still being practiced. Because customary law is not written down and is therefore very difficult to research, the lesson will discuss the importance of secondary source, non-legal sources, government, IGO, and NGO reports, and case law or codifications reflecting principles of customary law as might be found in a mixed legal system.

Researching Historical Sources of the Civil Law

This lesson will introduce you to the civil law tradition and show you how to research civil law historical sources. The lesson covers the five major types of world legal systems, explains the current and historical sources of the civil law, and discusses the importance of historical sources in civil law research and interpretation. Specific historical sources are identified, as well as ideas for using secondary sources to make sure that your research is on the right track.