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Canada : legal resources: Books

Finding ebooks and books in the Bodleian Law Library

Use the tabs above to understand how the Law Bod's collection is arranged. There is an Enquiry Desk on Level 2, just as you enter the main Reading Room: please do come and have a word if you are having any difficulty in using the library.

Looking for a Reading List title?

When you search SOLO for books on your Oxford Law Faculty Reading List you may find that the location is shown as Law Library Reserve Collection. Books in this collection must be asked for at the Enquiry Desk on Level 2. Please remember to bring your Oxford University Card or your Bodleian Reader's Card when you come to the Desk.
Note.  The books in the Reserve Collection are available to all categories of readers, not just those on the particular course.

Help with finding books

The Law Library's collection is fully catalogued on SOLO, Oxford  University's online resource discovery tool. For those wishing to learn more about using searches, we recommend the following:

Canadian Legal Encyclopedia

Holders of an Oxford SSO can access

Halsbury's Laws of Canada via LexisLibrary

and the 
Canadian Encyclopedic Digest ("a comprehensive statement of the law of Ontario and the four western provinces - provincial, federal and common law - as derived from the case law and legislation") via Westlaw UK (International Materials)

The Law Bod's collection is shelved over four floors. An interest in Canadian law may well see you visiting at least three! All the floors are connected by both stairs and a lift.

All the books in the current collection of Canadian public and private law are on Level 2, as part of the sequence of texts arranged initially by legal subject/topic rather than jurisdiction.  Books in this subject sequence all have shelf marks beginning K. 

Identifying Canadian commentary in the K subject classification sequence

The following is an overview of the principal sections in the K (or Moys) sequence -  with examples  of works on Canadian law.

As the examples show, not all these works have "of Canada" or "Canadian" or "of Quebec" etc in their titles. The shelf mark itself can help you identify works on Canadian law -  in many sections look out for C1 or CAN in the third line.

KB Biography, Memoirs, "popular" accounts of trials 

eg KB.66.CAN.MUR 2007 The Persons Case : the Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood 

KC International law & law with international dimension

eg KC.214.CAN.BOT 2015 Canadian Extradition Law &  Practice

KL Legal System, Administration of Justice

KL.21 is just for books on the Canadian legal system
eg KL.21.MCC 2013 is Introduction to the Law & Legal System of Canada 

In most of the other KL shelf marks C1 in the third line identifies a Canadian-focused work.
eg KL.221.C1.MUT 2007  The Empirical Gap in Jurisprudence : a Comprehensive Study of the Supreme Court of Canada

KM Public Law 

C1 in the third line of the shelf mark indicates a work about Canadian public law

eg KM.201.2.C1.GIL 2012 The Charter at Thirty

KN Private Law

 C1 in the third line of the shelf mark indicates a work about Canadian private law

eg KN.10.C1.MAC 2012  The Law of Contracts


Superseded editions : (sec coll) at the end of Law Library shelf marks

These are in the secondary collection of superseded works on the Ground Floor. You are very welcome to consult them should you wish to - there are both stairs and a lift between floors. There are desks on the ground floor - but if you would rather bring secondary collection (hence sec coll) materials up to another floor please feel free to do so. Some of older superseded editions will have shelf marks beginning Cw Can 510 or Cw Can 610 and ending (sec coll). These are also on the ground floor, but in a separate run to the those with shelf marks beginning K. The book cases are clearly labelled, but please ask for help at the Enquiry Desk on Level 2 if you are having difficulties finding things.

We would be grateful if, when you have finished for the day, you would put the volumes on the nearest book trolley, on whichever floor you have been reading them, regardless of where they might be shelved.

"ULCC was founded in 1918 to harmonize the laws of the provinces and territories of Canada, and where appropriate the federal laws as well. The Uniform Law Conference of Canada also makes recommendations for changes to federal criminal legislation based on identified deficiencies, defects or gaps in the existing law, or based on problems created by judicial interpretation of existing law.

This site sets out the history and operation of the Conference in some detail. Most of the site is dedicated to explaining and furthering the work of the Conference. It describes the activities of the Criminal Section and the Civil Section, with emphasis on the comprehensive and long-range ambitions of the Commercial Law Strategy. ULCC's successes with laws affecting electronic communications are also featured. 

The site contains study papers, discussion documents, and a significant selection of uniform statutes which the Conference recommends for enactment by the provinces, territories, and sometimes the federal government. 

The Proceedings since the foundation of the Conference are available for the convenience of those without ready access to the printed volumes. ULCC expresses its gratitude to the Department of Justice (Canada) for its support in building this site."

Federal Law Reform (historical - not active)

The Law Reform Commission of Canada (1971-1993) was succeeded by The Law Commission of Canada. (1997 - 2006) 

The Bodleian Law Library holds the Law Reform Commission reports 1 to the shelfmark: KL170.CAN.  

Provincial/Territorial Law Reform

KL 171 is the shelf mark for works on law reform at provincial level. eg KL171 ONT for the Ontario commission In some provinces, law reform is undertaken by commissions in , others by units within the Ministries of Justice, 

On Level 2, the level at which you enter the Law Library, an area of the open shelf collection has books with shelf marks beginning General. 
This is where you will find comparative studies, and works surveying the response to legal problems in two or more jurisdictions. 

If all the countries being compared are (or were) members of the Commonwealth (the voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific) the book should have a shelf mark beginning Cw Gen. This collection is also on Level 2, but separate from General.

Please ask at the Enquiry Desk on Level 2 if you are having difficulty finding your way round our collection.

On Level 2, the level at which you enter the Law Library, an area of the open shelf collection has books with shelf marks beginning Jurisp (short for jurisprudence) where we shelve books on legal philosophy and theory. Within this section the books are arranged by the last name of author or editor.

As the Law Library moves to the Moys Classification Scheme, you may find legal philosophy books with shelf marks beginning KA .
KA titles are probably described on SOLO as being in the Law Reserve Collection. Please ask for these books at the Law Enquiry Desk - and remember to bring your University or Bodleian Reader's card with you, as these heavily used titles are issued to you for use in the Library. You can keep reading them for the rest of day if you like - but we do ask that you return them to the Enquiry Desk as soon as possible after you have finished consulting them. 
KA books not held in the LAw Reserve collection are on Level 2 - but a few shelves away from those with shelf marks beginning Jurisp.

Please ask at the Enquiry Desk on Level 2 if you are having difficulty finding your way round our collection.

On Level 3,  one floor above the entrance level to the Law Library, an area of the open shelf collection has books with shelf marks beginning Internat  (short for public international law). These books are further arranged by topic as described below.

Also on Level 3 is an area of the open shelf collection with books with shelf marks beginning Private Int. (This is short for private international law or conflict of laws as it is sometimes called.) In this section books are simply arranged by the last name of the author or editor, not by topic

Subject arrangement of Internat

The public international law collection on Level 3 is subdivided by broad areas of law. The divisions used are listed alphabetically below, with the corresponding shelf mark alongside. Within each shelf mark the books are next arranged by author/editor.

Air law  Internat 640

Atomic energy  Internat 600

Dependent states and special regimes  Internat 535

Economic law  Internat 590

European Court of Human Rights: literature Internat 575

General and theory Internat 500

History  Internat 510

Human rights  Internat 570

International crimes  Internat 580

International relations  Internat 660

Jurisdiction of states  Internat 560

Law of the sea and waterways  Internat 630

Nationality  Internat 565

Recognition   Internat 545

Servitudes  Internat 550

Social legislation and organisation  Internat 610

Space law  Internat 650

State responsibility  Internat 555

State succession  Internat 540

The state (as a legal entity)  Internat 530

Title to territory  Internat 520

Transport and communications (except sea, air and space)  Internat 620

Treaties (theory etc.)  Internat 670

International organisations History and general  Internat 680

General and regional political organisations Internat 681

League of Nations: general Internat 685

League of Nations: publications (series) Internat 686

United Nations: general  Internat 687

United Nations: publications (series)  Internat 688

Peace and disarmament Internat 700

International disputes and arbitration  General and theory  Internat 710 

Individual arbitration tribunals: literature Internat 740

International courts and tribunals: general Internat 720

Permanent Court of Arbitration: literature  Internat 730

Permanent Court of International Justice and the International Court of Justice: literature  Internat 725

Termination of war (including specific peace treaties)  Internat 760 

Materials on specific topics

Various aspects of Canadian law are considered on other pages on this guide: content includes guidance on books in our collection.

Recommend a book

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the print or ebook you are looking for, you can make a recommendation by completing the form below (Oxford Single-Sign On required).

Inter-library requests

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the book you are looking for, we may be able to source it through Oxford's inter-library request service.