I often consult WestlaweCarswell for electronic access to the Index to Canadian Legal Literature. I use the search template designed for that purpose. Usually I rely on general keyword searches. But today, since my research related to a specific piece of legislation, I thought I would use the “Legislation” field. Unfortunately, my various search term combinations did not easily yield the results I sought.
Here is a hypothetical example to illustrate my point:
If I entered Criminal Code 123 into the “Legislation” field, I got one hit, which actually related to s. 123 of another act and a different section of the Criminal Code. If I searched “Criminal Code” and 123, I retrieved the same document. When I searched “Criminal Code” and 123 in the “Any Text” field, I got close to 30 hits, though many involved the Criminal Code and page 123, not s. 123. However, if you search Criminal Code s.123 (not Criminal Code s. 123, mind you – adding the extra space gets you the same one hit retrieved earlier), you are rewarded with a manageable number of hits that relate exactly to the section you are researching.
Obviously I’m doing something wrong. Perhaps this is what I get for trying to use the narrower fields of a search template. Does anyone have any suggestions for obtaining the best search results in these situations, without worrying about getting the search syntax perfectly correct? Or does the Legislation Name s.# combination always yield the best results?
Also, I noticed that the ICLL records relating to the section were not listed in the “Secondary Sources” portion of the section’s KeyCite record. I know that such records are interlinked in the KeyCite records for cases; do they usually show up when searching legislation?