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SSM1070H5: Sustainability Law and Policy

A research guide for SSM1070 students.

SSM1070: SUSTAINABILITY LAW AND POLICY

This guide describes and links to primary and secondary legal research resources for completing course assignments.  Not sure about the difference between primary and secondary - see below! 

Use this guide as a starting point for your research BUT if you can't find what you need, see the Research Help page of this guide.

Andrew Nicholson, Coordinator of GIS & Data Services, UTM Library,
helped author some of the content found in this guide. I am grateful for his contributions here.

PRIMARY VS SECONDARY LEGAL RESEARCH RESOURCES

Primary sources in a legal research context encompass texts which "establish the law". These include:

  • statutes,
  • regulations,
  • by-laws
  • case law, and
  • administrative rulings

Secondary sources in a legal research context encompass texts that either a) summarize and/or comment on the law or b) act as finding tools to locate relevant primary sources on a given topic.  Secondary research sources can be useful starting points for legal research as they provide overviews of a legal topic.  However, as they are interpretative in nature, it is important to link back to the primary legal sources they cite.  

Examples of secondary sources include:

  • journal or law review articles,
  • books,
  • legal encyclopedias,
  • case digests, and
  • indexes to statutes.

Much of the content here has been adapted from The Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide (2018 CanLIIDocs 161), available at: https://bit.ly/3jfKmi9.