Answered By: Jonathan Faerber
Last Updated: Oct 08, 2020     Views: 90

The American Psychological Association requires that “legal materials are cited in the standard legal citation style used for legal references” (2020, p. 355), and since the standard legal citation style in Canada is the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (2018), the guide’s conventional format for legal citations should be used to cite Canadian cases in APA Style papers.

To cite a case, include superscripted numbers in place of a parenthetical citations to point to footnotes containing full citations at the end of the page on which a case is cited. In addition to these footnotes, list all cases cited in text in the reference list containing legal and non-legal resources at the end of the document. For example: “Andrews v Law Society of British Columbia, [1989] 1 SCR 143 at 146” in a footnote corresponds to “Andrews v Law Society of British Columbia, [1989] 1 SCR 143” in a reference.

Similar to citations to non-legal resources, include the locations of cited text (e.g., "at 146") in the full citation rather than the reference for each case. In the below reference example of a case from a law report, the case name, year of volume volume number, abbreviated report name, and page number of case are included in the citation.

Case from a law report: Andrews v Law Society of British Columbia, [1989] 1 SCR 143.

Many references to cases also follow a basic format called a "neutral citation", using the name of the court and the number assigned by the court, to a specific decision, such as the reference below.

Case with a neutral citation: Rothmans, Benson, & Hedges Inc. v Saskatchewan, 2005 SCC 13.

To learn more about neutral citations, please see What Is a Neutral Citation, and How Do I Cite and Reference a Case With a Neutral Citation?. For more information on citing and referencing cases in printed reporters, please see How Do I Cite and Reference a Case from a Printed Reporter?. To learn more about formatting pinpoints in a legal citation, see What Is a Pinpoint, and How Is It Used in a Legal Citation? and for repeated citations to the same legal resource, please see How Do I Repeat a Legal Citation to a Single Reference?.


American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

McGill Law Journal. (2018). Canadian guide to uniform legal citation (9th ed.). Thomson Reuters.