The Lenczner Slaght Supreme Court of Canada Database
This database includes information about each reported decision of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1954 onward. It is intended to include every decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on its website, which is presently at scc-csc.lexum.com. The authors of this database hope that it will provide a useful resource for academics and practicing lawyers alike who are interested in the decisions and judges of the Supreme Court of Canada.
The database contains dozens of datapoints for each decision, including information about appellants and respondents, history of the case, the case disposition, the issues in the case, and judges‘ votes in each case. For full details about the information contained in the database, please see the coding manual.
The Origin of the Database
An earlier version of this database was built by Professors Benjamin Alarie and Andrew Green of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Under their supervision, an initial version of this database was coded, and they used that data to publish a series of articles in the late 2000s and early 2010s. While they had intended to make their dataset publicly available, it never came to fruition.
In 2020, Professors Alarie and Green graciously provided a copy of their existing database and documentation to Paul-Erik Veel, a Partner at Lenczner Slaght and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He and Katie Glowach (an Associate at Lenczner Slaght), with the assistance of others, then updated the database to include Supreme Court of Canada decisions through the end of 2021. They also validated and cleaned earlier data, added and removed particular variables, and cleaned up the documentation. Under their direction, the database will be updated and maintained by Lenczner Slaght going forward.
Using and Citing the Database
We encourage everyone to make use of this database as they see fit. However, we do ask that you cite appropriately to the database when you use it.
The full citation for the database is: “Paul-Erik Veel, Katie Glowach, Benjamin Alarie, and Andrew Green, Lenczner Slaght Supreme Court of Canada Database, Release [yyyy.##]. Available at: www.supremecourtdatabase.com”.
The database will be updated periodically at the website listed, so please ensure that you are citing to the correct version. The first four digits in the citation above [yyyy] indicate the year of the release, while the last two digits [##] indicate the release version within that particular year. While we encourage everyone to use the most current version of the database and the coding manual, historical versions of the database and coding manual will continue to be made available on this website.
Limitations of this Database
The data in this database, like all databases, is imperfect. All of the data was coded by humans, and humans can make mistakes. We hope to be able to correct errors that are identified in each sequential release of this database. However, undoubtedly errors will remain.
To the extent that you identify an error in the database, please let the authors know by emailing Paul-Erik Veel at email@example.com.
Some of the data in this database required an individual to make a judgment call. For example, the database contains information about the issues addressed in Supreme Court of Canada appeals. These fields and many others are the product of human judgment. Reasonable people may disagree regarding those judgments.