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Law, Children Guide

Reference Sources

Legal encyclopedias contain narrative summaries of the law supported by references to case law and statutes. They are often the best place to start to gain a general understanding of the law in a particular area.

There are two main legal encyclopedias in law: the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (CED) and Halsbury's Laws of Canada (Halsbury's). CED covers federal, western, and Ontario jurisdictions, and Halsbury's covers all provincial and federal jurisdictions. Both are available in print in the Law Library in the reference section on the first floor.

Electronically, CED is available in WestlawNext Canada, while Halsbury's is available in Lexis Advance Quicklaw

Canadian Encyclopedic Digest

Electronically and in print, the CED has Children (title 25 in vol 8 in print) and Youth Criminal Justice (title 183 in vol 53 in print)  titles. You may also find the Family Law titles (vols 26–28 in print) helpful.

Please make sure you check the currency of these titles in WestlawNext Canada, as some of the CED titles can be years out of date.

Halsbury's Laws of Canada

Both in print and electronically, there are Infants and Children (title code HIC) and Family Law (title code HFA) titles available.

Please check the currency of these titles. This resource provides information from each province in Canada, as well as federally.

Journal Articles & Databases

If you already know the journal title, year, volume number and page number for an article, you may be able to access it electronically by searching for the journal's title in the UNB e-journals database. If we have the journal electronically or in print, it will be listed. You can also look up the journal title in UNB WorldCat.

Keep in mind that it can be best to start with an index rather than a full-text journal search. An index is a systematic listing of journal articles by topic. A few indexes in law are listed below, followed by key legal databases.

Law Databases

There are other indexes available in print and electronically, as well as more full-text journal databases. Contact a law librarian for assistance.


To search for books at UNB Libraries, use UNB WorldCat, the library's catalogue. UNB WorldCat contains records of materials held at all of UNB's libraries (including UNB Saint John).

Search UNB WorldCat:
Limit to: 

Items shown as LAW-RESERVE may be requested at the circulation desk on the first floor of the Law Library. Items shown as LAW-STACKS are on the second floor, and LAW-REF materials are on the first floor in the reference section.

The following books may be useful in your research:

Cases & Legislation

Key Resources

The following databases and websites provide access to federal and provincial cases and legislation.


The following statutes are related to children's law. For statutes not listed, search the databases listed above.

Cases and Decisions

Along with searching the databases above, one can use other products to find case law:

  • Canadian Abridgment Digests
    A digest service that indexes cases by subject. This is an extremely useful resource. There are Family volumes in print (vols 36 Reissue–47G Reissue) and electronically in WestlawNext Canada (UNB Law students and faculty only).
  • Canada Digest
    A digest service similar to the Canadian Abridgment. Useful titles include Canada Family Law Digest. It is available electronically through Quicklaw (campus-wide version available to all UNB and STU students and faculty) and Lexis Advance Quicklaw (UNB Law students and faculty only).
  • Case Reporters
    If you wish to browse the print reporters,there are topical law reports on the second floor. Note: much of this content is retrospective. For current cases/decisions, please use electronic databases (i.e.: WestlawNext Canada, Lexis Advance Quicklaw) when available.

The following case reporters may be helpful:

Government Documents

Government departments and agencies publish a great deal of important law-related information. The Law Library's collection of printed government documents is located on the library's third floor. Use UNB WorldCat to search, or ask a library staff member for help. 

The Harriet Irving Library also has government documents, which can be located through UNB WorldCat.

For government documents that are available online, try using UNB Libraries' Google Custom Search.

Note: if you include and filetype:pdf in a Google search, you will retrieve PDF documents from Government of Canada websites. This is a good way to find government reports, as they are usually in PDF format.

The following sites might be useful:

  • Government of Canada Publications Search
    Federal search engine for government publications.
  • Childhood and Adolescence (Public Health Agency of Canada)
    The Division Childhood and Adolescence is a focal point for policy development, research, and strategic analysis of trends regarding broad determinants of health regarding children and youth in Canada. Includes publications and information on programs and initiatives.
  • First Nations Child and Family Services (Indigenous Services Canada)
    ISC provides funding to First Nations child and family services agencies, which are established, managed and controlled by First Nations and delegated by provincial authorities to provide prevention and protection services. Site includes program expenditures and statistics, audit and evaluation reports, and more.
  • Social Development: Children & Youth (Government of New Brunswick)
    Contains information and reports on adoption and foster care, protection, and related legislation.
  • Social Development: Child Protection (Government of New Brunswick)
    Contains information on reporting abuse as well as publications related legislation.

Websites & Blogs

The following websites may be helpful for your research:

There are many blogs maintained by lawyers and law firms, and you can find many of them at There are several blogs listed in the Family category that may be helpful.

UN Documents

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 that is made up of 193 Member States. The mission and work of the United Nations are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter. The following pages and documents might be helpful with your research:

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