The standard legal citation format in Canada is the "McGill style".
The official manual is the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (9th ed.), but most people call it the "McGill Guide" because the editors of the McGill Law Journal created the style, and continue to keep it updated.
This guide is available for in-library use at every campus library. It is not available online at KPU.
Call number: REF KE 259 C35 2018
These guides provide examples of "McGill style" legal citations:
VIDEO: Citing a Case without a Neutral Citation (5:58)
Shows how to properly format citation for a case found in CanLII which does not have a neutral citation. Includes example where the date the decision was published is different from the date the decision was released by the court. Based on older edition of McGill guide, but still accurate.
Here are some common law report abbreviations:
To de-code other citation abbreviations, check this source:
VIDEO: Citing Canadian Statutes (5:40)
Very clear video from Douglas College Library on citing both federal and BC statutes using the McGill style. Mentions Quicklaw database which is not available at KPU.
Chapter 11 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020, 7th edition) addresses legal references.
"In APA Style, most legal materials are cited in the standard legal citation style used for legal references across all disciplines ... Existing legal references are usually already written in legal style and require few, if any, changes for an APA Style reference list entry" (APA, 2020, p. 355).
The APA manual only provides examples for American legal sources, and a few international sources, based on the standard US legal citation format called the Bluebook. The APA recommends that you cite legal sources using the standard legal citation format of your country. In Canada, that is the McGill style.
In practice, at KPU, if you have been asked to cite legal sources in APA style, your instructor probably wants you to:
However, the only way to know for sure is to ASK YOUR INSTRUCTOR what they prefer.
The purpose of an in-text citation is to direct your reader to the correct place in the References list to locate the full reference for the source you've used. So you need to create your reference first, and then construct the in-text citation from that reference.
"Most [primary] legal reference entries begin with the title of the work; as a result, most in-text citations consist of the title and year. ... If the title is long ... shorten it for the in-text citation, but give enough information in the in-text citation to enable readers to locate the entry in the reference list" (APA, 2020, p. 357).
within a sentence: Lessard v Schmidt (1972)
at the end of a sentence: (Lessard v Schmidt, 1972)
Legal citations in Chicago style
In a nutshell, if you have been asked to cite legal sources in APA style, your instructor probably wants you to:
From the Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed., ):
"The major reference work for citing Canadian public documents and legal cases in a Canadian context is the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation [commonly called the McGill Guide]" (section 14.305). See the box above for info on the McGill style.