Answered By: Jonathan Faerber
Last Updated: Oct 08, 2020     Views: 250

A McGill Guide (9th ed.) citation and reference to a law both identify the source and location of the law in a statute source (e.g., the chapter in the volume of legislation organized by year) (McGill Law Journal, 2018, E-21). The main elements of a reference to legislation are as follows: 

Reference elements: Name of Law, Abbreviated statute source + Year, chapter number

Reference example: Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46.

Specifically, the above reference contains the following elements:

  1. Name of law: Criminal Code
  2. Abbreviated statute source (Revised Statutes of Canada): RSC
  3. Year of the volume from the statute source (Revised Statutes of Canada): 1985
  4. Location of law in statute source (Revised Statutes of Canada): c C-46

Similarly, the information contained in a citation footnote to legislation includes the (a) name of a law (b) abbreviated statute source (c) the year indicating the specific volume from the statute source, (d) location of law in statute source, and (e) location of cited material (also known as a "pinpoint") in law, as in the following citation:

Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46 s 293(1).

For an overview of all statute sources in Canada, please consult the University of Toronto's Bora Baskin Law Library's list of Current Canadian Legislation. For general information about legal citations, please see Where Can I Find Information on How to Cite Canadian Statutes, Cases, and Legislation?


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