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Criminology 1160 & 2260: Primary Legal Sources: Citing Legislation

Statutes (Canada and British Columbia)

Statutes are published at the end of each parliamentary session. Every so often, all of the sessional volumes are pulled together, along with all existing statutes, into one complete set of statutes in alphabetical order, called the Revised Statutes

The Statutes of Canada were last revised in 1985. Statutes in effect at that time will thus be cited as RSC 1985, for the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985. The chapter number of the statute includes the initial letter of the name of the act.

Examples:  Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C - 46.      
                  Privacy Act
, RSC 1985, c P- 21.

Federal statutes passed after 1985 are cited as SC for the Statutes of Canada. In this case, chapters are indicated by numbers only, with no initial letters.

Examples:  Youth Criminal Justice Act, SC 2002, c 1. 
                  Nunavut Act
, SC 1993, c 28.

If citing a specific section or subsection of an act, add the section/subsection numbers at the end of the citation.

Example:  Youth Criminal Justice Act, SC 2002, c 1, s 38(2).

The Statutes of British Columbia were last revised in 1996. Statutes in effect at that time are cited as RSBC 1996, for the Revised Statutes of British Columbia, 1996

Example:  Motor Vehicle Act, RSBC 1996, c 318.      

BC provincial statutes passed after 1996 are cited as SBC for the Statutes of British Columbia.

Example:  Parental Responsibility Act, SBC 2001, c 45.   

Citing Statues


When citing bills, include the bill number, the title of the bill, the session of Parliament, the number of the Parliament, and the year. 


Bill C-27, An Act to Amend the
Canadian Human Rights Act,
2nd Sess, 39th Parl, 2007.

Add the source of the bill, if using a version from a private service like Quicklaw.

Bill C-27, An Act to Amend the
Canadian Human Rights Act,
2nd Sess, 39th Parl, 2007, (QL).

When citing provincial bills, include the jurisdiction. 


Bill 16, Police Amendment Act, 1997,
2nd Sess, 36th Parl, British
Columbia, 1997.


Federal regulations were last consolidated in 1978.  Regulations in effect in 1978 are cited to the Consolidated Regulations of Canada (C.R.C.).

     Air Cushion
     Vehicle Regulations
     CRC, c 4

After 1978, federal regulations are cited by the year and number.

    Trade-marks Regulations
, SOR/96-195.

SOR stands for Statutory Orders and Regulations, 96 is the year and 195 is the number of the regulation.

Provincial regulations are also cited by year and number, but include the jurisdiction.  In the following example, 74 is the year and 181 is the number of the regulation.

ExampleBC Reg 181/74.