ONSC Implements the Neutral Citation for Case Law

Louise Hamel, manager of the Judges’ Library for Ontario Courts, just announced to Canadian legal publishers that beginning January 2, 2010, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice will assign a neutral citation to their decisions, except for the Small Claims Court.

The Neutral Citation Standard for Case Law was developed in 1998 by the Canadian Citation Committee, an informal group that brought together various specialists in legal information from the judiciary, academia and the publishing industry, including slawers Martin Felsky and Daniel Poulin. The standard was approved in 1999 by the Canadian Judicial Council and has since then been implemented in all Canadian courts as well as in a growing number of tribunals.

The Neutral Citation allows for a simple, official and permanent citation method for decisions and is assigned by the court when the decision is distributed. The standard is now part of the Canadian Citation Committee’s guide entitled The Preparation, Citation and Distribution of Canadian Decisions (April 2009).

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