Western Libraries

Law 5110 Constitutional

John & Dotsa Family Law Library

Secondary Sources






Start your research by browsing books, encyclopedias, and  looseleaf services. Where will you find them?

Course Reserves

Your instructor may recommended specific books or articles that will help your understanding of Constitutional laws. Course readings can be found via the library catalogue’s Course Reserves button, or via the Course Readings Service linked either in OWL courses or on the website at:http://coursereadings.lib.uwo.ca/

Check with your instructor to find out where your course readings are posted.

Library Catalogue

Search by your favourite author, or by subject headings assigned to books covering your topic:

Library of Congress Subject Headings:

Canada. Canadian Bill of Rights--Digests.
Canada. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Canada. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms-- Digests.
Canada. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms--Periodicals.
Canada. Supreme Court.
Canada. Supreme Court--History.
Civil rights--Canada.
Civil rights--Canada--History.
Civil rights-Canada--Periodicals.
Constitutional law--Canada--Amendments.
Constitutional law--Canada--Cases.
Constitutional law--Canada--Digests.
Constitutional law--Canada--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Constitutional law--United States.
Judicial power--Canada.
Judicial review--Canada.

Databases & E-books

Some very useful secondary sources are available in online legal databases.

Westlaw Edge Canada

The Canadian Encyclopedic Digest is available in both print (library) and in Westlaw Edge Canada. You can search through the titles or browse the different titles. Articles include live links to caselaw and legislation.

Lexis Advance Quicklaw

All titles within Halsbury's Laws of Canada are available in Lexis Advance Quicklaw. You can run searches across all titles, within one title, or you can browse through the contents of each title.

Irwin Law

The Irwin Law e-Library contains all the Essentials books for different legal topics. Search the library catalogue and there will be a record for the print and the e-book versions.

If your topic is more specific, somewhat “new” or you just want more detail than you are finding in a textbook, try searching for a journal article or other “non-monograph/treatise” type of source. Generally, law journals and reviews will contain “criminal law” articles. There are some more specialized journals as well such as the Constitutional Forum or the Review of Constitutional Studies.


HeinOnline is a legal database with a full-text Law Journal Library containing more than 2,600 law and law-related periodicals. Coverage is from the first issue published for all periodicals and goes through the most-currently published issues allowed based on contracts with publishers. Search by article title, author, subject, state or country published, full text, and narrow by date.

The following are legal Periodical Indexes, which provide awareness of what is being published in the legal world. In some cases, the full-text of the article will also be available. If not, you only need to check the library catalogue to find out if the Law Library carries the journal title!

Index to Canadian Legal Literature

The Index to Canadian Legal Literature is a bibliographic index to Canadian law journals, books, articles, government publications, audio-visual materials, continuing legal education materials, and case comments. Published in association with the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, ICLL receives contributions from law libraries across Canada.

The ICLL is available electronically in Westlaw Edge Canada and Nexis Uni (formally LexisNexis Academic).  For Law faculty and students with educational accounts the ICLL can be accessed on Westlaw Edge Canada and Lexis Advance Quicklaw.  1985-current

Scott Index to Canadian Legal Periodical Literature

Named after Marianne Scott (first woman to be appointed as National Librarian of Canada). The index is available electronically through the library catalogue of CAIJ (Centre d’accès à l’information juridique), an organization related to the Barreau du Québec. Search interface is in French only but English search terms can be used. The Law Library holds print copies of the index from 1961-2006.


LegalTrac on InfoTrac Web provides indexing for more than 1,200 major law reviews, legal newspapers, specialty publications, Bar Association journals and international legal journals, including more than 200 titles in full text.  Search results link to available multimedia — images, video and podcasts. 1980-present.

Index to Legal Periodicals & Books

The ILP&B,  available through EbscoHost, includes access to scholarly articles, symposia, jurisdictional surveys, court decisions, books, book reviews and more. International in coverage, Index to Legal Periodicals Full Text includes periodicals from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and covers an even broader range of subjects.

Content Includes full text for more than 480 periodicals, many of them peer-reviewed,  dating back to 1981. ILP indexes over 1,100 legal journals, 320 law reviews, yearbooks, institutes, statutes, bar association publications and university publications.

Earlier coverage is found in the Index to Legal Periodicals & Books: Retrospective (1908-2007)