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Canadian Legal Research Guide

The Canadian Constitution

The Constitution is Canada's supreme law. Canada has a federal system of government. Authority to make and administer laws is constitutionally divided between the federal government and the governments of the ten provinces and three territories.  

Canada’s Constitution is not found in only one document but comprises a series of British and Canadian legislation.

The constitutional documents page on the Department of Justice website includes the Consolidation of Constitution Acts 1867 to 1982 - this consolidation contains the text of the Constitution Act 1867 (formerly the British North America Act, 1867) as amended, and the text of the Constitution Act 1982, as amended. The Constitution Act 1982 contains the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other provisions, including the procedure for amending the Constitution of Canada.

Lexis Advance contains:

  • Constitutional Acts of Canada - contains the full text of the Constitutional Acts and Documents reprinted in RSC 1985, Appendix II, including the Constitution Act, 1982, and the Canadian Bill of Rights reprinted in RSC 1985, Appendix III.
  • Constitutional Documents of Canada - contains full text constitutional documents including:
    • Charlottetown Accord, October 9, 1992 and related documents,
    • Meech Lake Accord, June 2, 1987 and related documents,
    • Federal Constitutional Proposals, September 1991, and
    • The Beaudoin-Dobbie Report, February 28, 1992

For more information about the Canadian Constitution and the federal system, see eg:

Reference Books