Skip to Main Content

Environmental law: Primary sources

PRIMARY SOURCE > Introduction

In law, primary sources are case law (jurisprudence) and legislation (both laws and regulations). 

Don't forget, secondary sources are an excellent resource to help find relevant case law and legislation on a certain legal topic. This is particularly true when researching an area of law in which you are not familiar.



Jurisprudence is one of the primary sources of law. It is the decisions rendered by various courts. There are several tools (print and online) available to find them. Do not forget that secondary sources are excellent in order to find jurisprudence about a specific topic as well. After finding a few major cases you can use various tools in order to find more recent decisions about the same topic.

These tools are also available online through Westlaw Canada.

Printed search tools

Printed reports

Prior to going to the library’s shelves, have a look at the document titled Major Law Reports and Statutes by titles, locations and abbreviations. It will give the physical location of the primary sources within the library.


Legislation is one of the primary sources of law. This part of the guide gives a starting point to find statutes and regulations about environmental law. It is your responsability to make sure that the legislation and regulation cited are in force and up-to-date or is still in force at the time relevant to your needs.


For the list of the relevant statutes and regulations, go to the relevant page on the Environment and Climate Change Canada's website.




For more information

To go further and to find primary sources, have a look a the following guide.

Printed reports

Have a look at the documents below to know the physical location of the primary sources. The same document is available in print format at the reference section of the Brian Dickson Law Library.