Education law & legal resources

 Contact info

If you need help, please contact Adena Brons, Education Librarian at 778 782 7419 or or Ask a librarian.

Don't forget that most SFU Education researchers are eligible for our free Telebook service that delivers library books and other resources to you directly at home! 

You may also wish to review the library's comprehensive guide to legal information.

Secondary sources

Secondary sources consist of scholarly journal articles, legal commentary and annotations, treatises, textbooks and books, encyclopedia entries, non-academic articles and other sources. They are often the best place to begin legal research, because they  discuss, highlight, and summarize important cases and legislation. 

Finding background information

Finding books

Find books about legal concepts using Catalogue Search. For example, you may try these key words:

  • education law canada
  • constitutional law
  • "home schooling" law

You can also do a subject search in the catalogue. To do a successful subject search, you will need to use the formal subject headings used in the catalogue. For example, if you do a subject search for education law and legislation, you will find many related subject headings (see below). When you click on the subject heading, you'll see all the books on that topic.

To find other formal subject headings used in the library catalogue,  examine the subject headings assigned to good books on your topic. Then click on the most interesting subject headings assigned to that book to find others like it.

Finding articles by database

After you find a reference to an article you would like to read, click on the Where can I get this? link to get a link to the full-text. 

  • Education Source
    The largest education index.
  • CBCA Complete
    The best Canadian education index. The best all-round Canadian index: includes magazines, journals, and newspapers.
  • HeinOnline
    Select "Law Journal Library" within the database to search articles from over 1,620 legal journals--US, Canadian, and international content.
  • Index to Canadian Legal Literature (via LawSource)
    Indexes Canadian legal periodicals.
    Do a subject search for key words in the concept, e.g. law and teaching and secondary
  • Lexis Advance Quicklaw Plus
    Indexes Canadian and American legal journals and case law.
    Many law review articles available in full text online, for example, University of British Columbia Law Review
  • Westlaw Next Canada
    Indexes Canadian legal periodicals and scholarly journals.

Finding articles by journal

Primary sources

Legislation (acts or statutes) and case law (judgments or judicial decisions) are considered primary sources. They contain the force of law. 

Laws & legislation 

Courts & tribunals

Finding cases

Finding cases by topic

  • Guide: how to find legal cases by topic
  • Canadian Abridgement Digests - Education Law (access through Westlaw Next Canada)
  • To find education law topics in Westlaw, choose "Canadian Abridgement Digests" and "Education Law" 
  • Education Law Reporter: elementary and secondary (print)
    Canadian publication with succinct summaries of recent cases and legal documents, with a focus on elementary and secondary education.
  • Education Law Reporter: post-secondary (print)
    Canadian publication with succinct summaries of recent cases and legal documents, with a focus on post-secondary education.
  • BC Ministry of Education Discipline Database
    Keyword searchable database of BC College of Teachers discipline outcomes

Finding cases by citation

Got a legal citation, but not sure how to read it? Check out our handy infographic.


Most public organizations post their policy manuals, which can easily be found through a Google search.  Here are a few examples:

Ethics sources

Curriculum documents

Web sites about teaching legal topics in schools

  • Law Lessons
    B.C. specific, this website has lesson plans, teaching units, court education and teacher training resources.
  • Law Central Alberta
    Classroom materials on legal topics for teachers and students.
  • Justice Education Society of British Columbia
    Provides province-wide legal education to schools and community groups
    Programs focus on the operation of the BC court system and criminal and civil trial procedures

Style guides

Government publications come from many different sources and so can be particularly challenging to cite.

The APA guide suggests you use the legal style manual of your country to cite its respective legal sources. In Canada, this is the McGill style guide, also known as the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation.

Please confirm with your instructor on their citation style preferences, as the use of APA and McGill styles will be instructor-specific in the Education department.