Dominion Law Reports online

By | 13 June 2014

Although the Law Bod has been supplying holders of an Oxford Single Sign On quite a healthy collection of Canadian case law electronically, thanks to the foreign dimensions of LexisLibrary and Westlaw UK, one important law report series had eluded us: the Dominion Law Reports (D.L.R.).  Until now that is! This venerable series has always been available – and will continue to arrive – as bound volumes on the Law Bod shelves at Cw Can 100 D50, but now (June 2014) our online subscription to the e-DLRs has gone live.

(The rest of this blog will be a quick introduction to the subscription database for holders of an Oxford Single Sign On. If you are reading this post because of a general interest in Canadian case law, but are without institutional or personal access to DLR plus, Canada is one of those jurisdictions blessed with an active and successful free access to law ethos. Court decisions (transcripts)  are offered free online via a number of sites: Lexum (Canadian Supreme Court only), CanLII (national and provincial courts, boards and tribunals) and Raw Law from National Reporter System – to name a big three.)


The online service is called Dominion Law Reports Plus. This offers full text of all the published volumes of the D.L.R namely:
Old Series, 1912-1922, 70 Volumes
New Series, 1923-1955, 133 Volumes
2nd Series, 1956-1968, 70 Volumes
3rd Series, 1969-1984, 150 Volumes
4th Series, from 1984 onwards (as of June 2014 c 369 volumes)
There is also a Classification Scheme and Index for the 3rd and 4th series, which should be a considerable aid to legal research.
Finally, a great improvement over the speed at which the bound volumes arrive in the Law Bod, is the “new this week” section, with a Cases Reported and Index to Subject Matter for the most recent parts.


Logging in requires a bit of drilling down – as well as a current Oxford Single Sign On. (Forgotten your Oxford Single Sign On?) On the page that the DLR link lands you on, click the grey tab called Canada Law Book Online Services (the middle tab in central panel – see below)


Click on the tab called Canada Law Book Online Services

The Dominion Law Reports should now appear on an alphabetical list of resources – click on title. (Please note, the Law Bod does not have a subscription to any of the other sources listed.)


Next click on Dominion Law Reports

Next click on Dominion Law Reports

Having clicked on the link called Dominion Law Reports, you be taken to the law report series homepage. As yet I have not had much time to experiment with this database – but I would just like to point out that the Search options are rather coyly presented via a  Select Search Form drop down menu near top right hand corner. The more prominent features on the front page are links to the most recent cases and to the table of content route. (Click the Toc option to get to the subject classification scheme too.)


Case name search ( can be limited to a span of dates)
Citation search (including parallel citations). It says “Please enter the citation without brackets” – but I think this just mean for years because it certainly is ok with () around the series number for DLR citations, as its own example shows! It does  seem to very particular about full stops/periods: don’t hope to get away with DLR it must be D.L.R.
Catchline search – searches the index to the DLR
Advanced Search – “allows you to narrow your search to a particular folder [topic/subject area], case or section. When you select the Advanced Search form, the Table of Contents will display check boxes next to the headings. The check boxes allow you to limit your search to the folders or sections that you wish to search. Simply enter the words you wish to search for, check the appropriate box(es) in the Table of Contents and click ‘search’.” It is possible to construct a complex search usuing the Query Syntax which is helpfully summarised on the screen.

On the results screen, you will notice double icons among the functions possible. The two printers and two disks indicate “the “Print from TOC” and “Save from TOC” functions: the route to go if you want to print or save more than one result. Having clicked on the “from TOC” option, check boxes allow you to select the documents that you wish to print or save.”