Primary Sources

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The first three chapters of this guide answer questions about understanding the legal system and going to court. This chapter gives you a more detailed approach to looking for resources to help you understand your legal issue.

Legal information materials fall into two types: primary or secondary sources.

Primary sources consist of case law, legislation, court rules and court forms. These sources contain complex information and can be difficult to understand. They generally require interpretation of some kind, which is why it’s a good idea to first look through the information resources that explain them.

Information about how to find legislation, court rules and court forms is found elsewhere in this guide. See How do I find the laws that concern my legal problem?, How do I find court forms?, How do I find case law?, and How do I find out about court procedures?

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Courthouse Libraries BC staff, October 2015.

Creativecommonssmall.png Beginner's Guide to Finding Legal Information © Courthouse Libraries BC 2015 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.