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Canadian Legal Research Guide

Finding journal articles on Canadian Law

The following tools allow you to search for journal articles and case comments on your topic in many journals at the same time. These resources are either indexing / abstracting tools or full text databases. However, many of the indexing / abstracting tools listed below link to the full text articles.

Abstracting / indexing tools are the most effective and efficient way to find relevant scholarly law journal articles, as the databases are searched by title, keyword etc, rather than the full text of the articles, so the results are going to be more relevant. 

When searching full text databases, you will need to construct clever searches using, for example, proximity operators, so that your words/phrases retrieve relevant articles, as these databases will search every word in the articles. Alternatively, use field searching if available to eg: search for your words in the title, abstract, subject, keyword fields, rather than in the full text.

To find journal articles about Canadian law, we recommend the following Canadian and multijurisdictional databases:

CANADIAN JOURNALS (UniMelb staff & student access)

Index to Canadian Legal Literature on WestlawNext Canada 

  • index
  • coverage 1985 to current 

Articles and Newsletters on WestlawNext Canada 

  • full text
  • coverage 1990s to current
  • over 40 Canadian law journals and reviews, approximately 20 Law Report Articles that contain case comments, annotations and articles (coverage 1970s to current) and 20 newsletters.

All Canadian Legal Journals on Lexis Advance

  • full text 
  • coverage 1989 to current
  • approximately 45 Canadian law journals 


Although the following databases cover not only Canadian journal literature, several include coverage of Canadian journals. In addition, articles on Canadian law may be written in, for example, US, UK or Australian journals

AGIS Plus Text on the INFORMIT platform (UniMelb staff & student access) 

  • index / abstracts
  • Australasian articles
  • over 140 journals indexed
  • coverage: mid 1980s to current

HeinOnline Law Journal Library (UniMelb staff & student access) 

  • full text
  • multijurisdictional
  • over 2,300 journals and law reviews - full text
  • coverage: from the first issue published for every journal to current  

Index to Legal Periodicals on the EBSCO platform (UniMelb staff & student access) 

  • index / abstracts 
  • multijurisdictional - US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand
  • over 1,100 law journals and reviews, yearbooks, bar association and university publications indexed; full text of over 480 journals
  • coverage: early 1980s to current

Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective: 1908-1981 on the EBSCO platform (UniMelb staff & student access) 

  • index / abstracts
  • multijurisdictional - US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand
  • over 400 journals indexed
  • coverage: 1908-1981

Legal Journals Index on Westlaw UK  (UniMelb staff & student access) 

  • index / abstracts
  • UK and EU  articles
  • over 800 journals indexed; full text coverage of approximately 100 journals
  • coverage: mid 1980s to current

Legaltrac  (UniMelb staff & student access) 

  • index (no abstracts provided)
  • multijurisdictional - US, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia. 
  • over 875 law journals indexed; and law-related articles from more than 1,000 additional business and general interest periodicals 
  • coverage: mid 1980s to current 

SSRN (open access) This is the best database for finding very recent pre-publication articles and book chapters.

  • full text
  • multijurisdictional

Recent Open Access Articles & Book Chapters on SSRN

Metallic, Naiomi Walqwan, 'The Relationship Between Canada and Indigenous Peoples: Where Are We?' (2017). Irwin Law Special Series, Special Lectures 2017 - Canada at 150: The Charter and the Constitution (Forthcoming)

Oguamanam, Chidi and Vipal Jain, 'Access and Benefit Sharing, Canadian and Aboriginal Research Ethics Policy after the Nagoya Protocol: Digital DNA and Transformations in Biotechnology' (2017) 3 (1) Journal of Environmental Law and Practice​ 79-112

Canadian Law e-Journals in the Law Library

A selection of Canadian law e-journals held by the Law Library is listed below. For more journals titles, search the Library catalogue.