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Legal research and writing

About this page

This page explains what judicial treatment or noting up means.  It also reviews resources for researching judicial treatment of cases and statutes.

About judicial treatment

Judicial treatment refers to what subsequent court decisions have said about a particular case.  It also refers to what cases have said about statutes or sections of a statute.

Research is not satisfactory until the researcher looks at judicial treatment of the case or statute provision.

Searching for judicial consideration of a case or statute is called "noting up."

Finding judicial consideration of cases

The main tool for finding judicial consideration of cases is a component of the Canadian Abridgment:

It is a good idea to look up the case by name in the main volume, then search the periodic supplements for further updates


Multiple electronic methods of searching for judicial consideration exist:

Finding judicial consideration of statutes

The main tools for finding judicial consideration of statutes of Canada and British Columbia are:

The same electronic methods of searching for judicial consideration of cases can be used to look for judicial consideration of statutes:

An electronic equivalent of British Columbia statute citator is available at the library.

Also, annotated legislation tools show judicial consideration of legislation, but these should not be considered complete.

Comparison of electonic citator services

Best Guide to Canadian Legal Research has a useful comparison chart of Westlaw Canada KeyCite and LexisNexis Canada QuickCite.

The editors of these services use terms such as Followed, Not Followed, Distinguished and Mentioned in describing how the subsequent court viewed the decision under consideration.

CanLII's Reflex record does not exist as a separate searchable database on CanLII.  Instead, it is a link on the individual case which connects the consideration of the case by other cases in CanLII. This is most useful for recent cases.

If possible, using multiple services is recommended. For many cases, the two services differ in how the editors have classified the nature of the judicial consideration.

Canadian case citations

Library holdings


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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.