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Legal research and writing

Secondary sources

Learn what secondary legal materials are, how to find them and how to use them.

About secondary sources

Secondary legal sources provide commentary on the law though they do not form the law. This means secondary sources can be persuasive but are not an authority – i.e., courts are not bound by them, even though the authors often are knowledgeable and highly regarded.

Secondary materials put the law into context, offer interpretation and can explain how legislation and case law interact to form the law. They also help direct researchers to relevant legal sources. 


UVic Libraries search

There are two ways to search the resources at UVic Libraries.

The UVic Catalogue Search accesses books, ebooks, videos and other items in the UVic Libraries collection. You can limit a search to just the law library, just ebooks, etc. You can follow the subject headings assigned to useful books for more resources catalogued with those headings.

The UVic Summon Search accesses items in the catalogue, as well as articles in most of UVic's journal collections, newspapers, digitized resources, and more. Because its scope is very large, you will want to narrow searches by many facets, such as subject, journal title, date range, and so forth. You also may notice recommendations for specific databases you can search directly.


Creative Commons License
This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.