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Types of Secondary Material

Page history last edited by Cecilia Tellis 12 years ago

2.1 Encyclopedias

As in all other disciplines, the encyclopedia is the work that is recommended to gather general information about a term, concept, person, or subject. Often an encyclopedia entry will include a short bibliography or references to other texts to consult.

Legal encyclopedias are especially helpful if you are unfamiliar with a specific jurisdiction or a general legal topic.

Below are a few examples of jurisdiction-specific encyclopedias:

Canadian Encyclopedic Digest or C.E.D.

Halsbury’s Laws of Canada

American Jurisprudence, 2d. & Corpus Juris Secundum

Halsbury’s Laws of England

Halsbury’s Laws of Australia


Canadian Encyclopedic Digest

In Canada, the main legal encyclopedia is the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (C.E.D.), published by Carswell. There are, however, two versions of the encyclopedia. The Ontario edition is bound in green [REF KEO 142 C33]. The Western edition which covers the four Western provinces, is bound in brown [REF KE 156.2 .W43].


The CED is also available through the LawSource service of WestlaweCarswell.


Note: The CED is not part of the Canadian Abridgment but it can accompany the Abridgment. It is also published by Carswell and resides near the Canadian Abridgment in the reference collection at.


Composition of the C.E.D

Main Work - The C.E.D. is organized alphabetically into "Titles" which correspond to broad legal topics. Titles are further broken down into paragraphs, which deal with particular points of law. Each paragraph is accompanied by footnotes, directing the reader to relevant statutes and case law.

The main work of the C.E.D. is updated through the use of yellow supplements, which are inserted at the beginning of each title. If the title you are using has a yellow update supplement, check to see whether the paragraphs you are relying on have been updated. Match the relevant paragraph in the main work to the paragraph (if there is one) in the yellow supplement.

Indexes - The General Index to the C.E.D. is published in a separate volume. There are also indexes at the end of each Title.

Key and Research Guide - The key is a useful starting point for entry into the main work. The Key provides the following indexes


               Contents Key: Lists in alphabetical order all of the subject titles in the C.E.D., along with their corresponding volume and title numbers.

         Statutes Key: Lists in alphabetical order every statute referred to in the C.E.D., along with the paragraphs of the main work that mention a given statute.

          Regulations Key: Lists in alphabetical order every regulation referred to in the C.E.D., and cites the paragraphs of the main work that mention a given regulation.

        Index Key: This is a good place to start research if you are unsure of the appropriate subject title under which to proceed. The index lists issues and sub-issues alphabetically. Beside each entry is the volume and title number of the general subject under which the issue is classified. The volume number appears before the hyphen, while the title number follows the hyphen. Once you have identified the appropriate title, turn to the Table of Contents or Index of that title to look up the specific sub-issue that concerns you.


*Halsbury's Laws of Canada


A recent addition to the field of legal literature published by LexisNexis Canada, this will eventually be a multi-volume encyclopedic treatment of Canadian law (some 57 volumes). As of July 2008, there are 17 volumes available: [v.1.] Access to information and privacy / E. Michael Power; [v.2.] Immigration and citizenship / Lorne Waldman; [v.3.] Conflict of laws / Janet Walker; [v.4.] Environment / Phil Langlotz -- [v.5.] Employment / Geoff, England; [v.6.] Wills and estate / Monique Shebbeare; [v.7.] Media and postal communications medicine and health / Jay Brecher; Criminal offences and defences / Alan D. Gold; [v.9.] Patents trade secrets and industrial designs / Roger T. Hughes; [v.10.] Trade-marks passing off and unfair competition / Roger T. Hughes; [v.11.] Criminal procedure / Alan D. Gold.; [v.12.] Legal profession / Jakub Adamski; [v.13.] Negligence / Allen M. Linden; [v.14.] Communications / Sunny Hands; [v.15.] Torts / Allen M. Linden; [v.16] Construction / Duncan Glaholt; [v.17.] Discrimination and human rights

Available at REF KE 444 .H35.


American Jurisprudence, 2d (Am.Jur. 2d.)


American Jurisprudence 2d, a legal encyclopedia originally published by Lawyers Cooperative Publishing and now by West Publishing, includes both procedural and substantive law organized into 83 volumes. American Jurisprudence 2d covers over 430 topics which are subdivided into many sections. American Jurisprudence 2d includes an annual, multivolume index and annual cumulative pocket supplements. American Jurisprudence 2d places a greater emphasis on statutory law, federal procedural rules and uniform state laws than Corpus Juris Secundum. As legal encyclopedias present general propositions of law in narrative form with introductory explanations and citations to case law, statutory law and other resources, these publications are excellent introductions to new areas of law and provide a starting point for research.

In print at FTX Law Reports SLR 4-60.


It can be accessed through Westlaw and LexisNexis Quicklaw.


Corpus Juris Secundum[1] (C.J.S.)

C.J.S. is an encyclopedia of U.S. law. Its full title is Corpus Juris Secundum: Complete Restatement Of The Entire American Law As Developed By All Reported Cases (1936- ). It contains an alphabetical arrangement of legal topics as developed by U.S. federal and state cases (1658-date).


The CJS is an authoritative 20th century American legal encyclopedia that provides a clear statement of each area of law including areas of the law that are evolving and provides footnoted citations to case law and other primary sources of law. Named after the 6th century Corpus Juris Civilis of Emperor Justinian I of the Byzantine Empire, the first codification of Roman law and civil law. (The name Corpus Juris literally means "body of the law"; Secundum denotes the second edition of the encyclopedia, which was originally issued as Corpus Juris by the American Law Book Company.)

The CJS is published by Thomson West.


In print at FTX Law Reports SLR 4-(59-60).


It is also available on Westlaw.


*Halsbury’s Laws of England

This is nota collection of English statutes but rather an encyclopedia of British Law, much like the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest. It is a complete narrative on the law of England culled from many sources. These sources include ancient common law, case law, statute law, EU directives, and regulations as well as treaties. In print at REF KD 310 .H34.



*Halsbury’s Laws of Australia

Halsbury's Laws of Australia is a concise yet comprehensive legal encyclopedia covering all Australian law. It provides definitive statements of the law supported by primary authority contained in detailed footnotes. Halsbury's covers 89 subject areas and all nine Australian jurisdictions. To help research, Halsbury's includes a consolidated index and consolidated tables of cases and statutes. Available at: REF KU 11 .H34


Halsbury’s Laws of Australia should be used in conjunction with Australian Current Law as this monthly publication updates the content of Halsbury’s Laws of Australia.

Australian current law. Reporter. Publisher [North Ryde, Australia] : Butterworths, 1991-

Case digests of superior court decisions from all Australian jurisdictions, of relevant international decisions, table of sentencing decisions, table of quantum of damages, details of recent articles and books. Available at: REF KTA 0 .A8765


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