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Law, International Guide

Legal Dictionaries / Words & Phrases

Legal Dictionaries / Words & Phrases

Legal dictionaries and Words and Phrases can help you research the meaning of legal terms and the legal interpretation of legal words and phrases. This can help when you’re trying to interpret a statute for which there is no clear case law or if you’re trying to discern the meaning of a word in a key legal document, such as a contract or a will.

Legal Dictionaries




Words & Phrases

Legal Encyclopedias

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 Westlaw Edge, while Halsbury's is available in Lexis+.

Canadian Encyclopedic Digest

  • Available via Westlaw Edge (law students only) and in print in the reference section (available to all students)
  • Helpful titles include International Law (Note: this title hasn't been updated since 1995. Use with caution.)
    • Check other applicable topics for international law subtopics; for example, the Aviation topic has an International Conventions and Protocols subtopic.

Halsbury's Laws of Canada

  • Available via Lexis+ (law students only), the campus-wide version of Quicklaw (available to all students), and in print in the reference section (available to all students)
  • Helpful titles include Public International Law
    • Check other applicable topics for international law subtopics; for example, the Aviation and Space topic has an International Sources of Air Law subtopic.

There are also encyclopedias specifically on international law. Some titles include:

Journal Articles & Databases

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 database. An index is essentially a list of articles by topic. Sometimes the article will be available full-text, but often you'll just be given a citation that you can use to track it down somewhere else.

Key Resources

If you need help locating an article, contact a librarian for assistance.



To search for books at UNB Libraries, use UNB WorldCat. UNB WorldCat contains records of materials held at the Harriet Irving, Science and Forestry, Engineering, Hans W. Klohn, and Law libraries.

Search UNB WorldCat:
Limit to: 

A few key texts:

Treaties & UN Documents

Treaties & UN Documents

A treaty is a formal agreement between two or more countries. A treaty may also be known as an international agreement, pact, convention, protocol, or covenant.

Treaties can be bilateral, multilateral, or plurilateral:

  • Bilateral: treaties between Canada and one other country
  • Multilateral: treaties between three or more countries
  • Plurilateral: treaties between one State and a group of States

Canadian Treaties and Documents

United Nations

International, Foreign, and U.S. Treaties

Cases & Decisions

Cases & Decisions

Websites & Blogs

Websites & Blogs

The following sites 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 international & cross-border law category that may be helpful.

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