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General Rules for Citing Legation

A legal citation for legislation should include the following:

  • Title
  • Statute name
  • Year 
  • Chapter 
  • Pinpoint (section) if relevant

The general citation rule for a statute is as follows:

Title, statute volume, year, chapter, (session or supplement), pinpoint

The citation format for legislation is to first cite the title in the short form of the Act. The title is italicized and followed by a comma, the abbreviation for the statute volume (e.g. RSS), the year of publication, the chapter number, the session or supplement (as needed) and the pinpoint (as needed).

The general citation rule for a regulation is as follows:

For Federal Regulations:
Unrevised Regulation: Title, SOR/year-regulation number, pinpoint
Revised Regulation: Title, CRC, chapter, pinpoint, year of revision

There are two citation formats for a regulation depending on whether the regulation is a revised regulation or an unrevised regulation. Federal regulations were last revised in 1978 in the Consolidated Regulations of Canada, 1978. If the regulation came into force after the 1978 consolidation, cite the SOR number, otherwise cite the CRC chapter number. 

For Provincial Regulations:
Unrevised Regulation: Title, Jurisdiction, regulation number, year, pinpoint.
Revised Regulation: Title, Volume, year of revision, regulation number, pinpoint.

Citing Federal Statutes and Regulations

Revised Statutes Examples:

Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46
Canadian Human Rights Act, RSC, 1985, c H-6

Annual Statutes Examples:

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, SC 2017, c 4
Employment Equity Act, SC 1995, c 44

Federal Regulation Examples:

Criminal Records Regulations, SOR/2000-303
Government Annuities Regulations, CRC, c879

Citing Provincial Statutes and Regulations

Revised Statutes of Ontario Examples:

Employment Standards Act, RSO 1990, c E.14
Police Services Act, RSO 1990, c P.15, s 56 

Annual Statutes of Ontario Examples

Prohibiting Profiting from Recounting Crimes Act, 2002, SO 2002, c 2
Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008, SO 2008, c14

Regulations of Ontario Examples:
* Revised Ontario Regulations (RRO) were last consolidated in 1990. Unrevised Ontario regulations are published in The Ontario Gazette, but might simply cite the regulation number and year. 

Employment Supports, O Reg 223/98
RRO 1990, Reg 261, s 8.
O Reg 500/94

Citing Bills

Citing Federal Bills:
Bill Number, long title, session, legislature, year, pinpoint

Citing Provincial Bills:
Bill number, long title, session, legislature, jurisdiction, year, pinpoint

Example of a Federal Bill Citation:
Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying), 1st Sess, 42nd Parl, 2015, c 6 (as passed by the House of Commons 17 June 2016)

Example of a Provincial Bill Citation:  
Bill 26, An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 in respect of leave and accommodation for victims of domestic or sexual violence and to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act in respect of information and instruction concerning domestic and sexual violence, 2nd Sees, 41st Parl, Ontario, 2016.