Looking for web resource for Canadian court statistics.
January 11, 2012 11:32 AM   Subscribe

How can I locate sources for statistics on the outcomes of Canadian criminal court cases, that include such data as type of defence counsel (ie Legal Aid, from large firm, high profile, new in field, or preferably cost of counsel), amount of time before trial, income/profession of defendant, sentence given, and sentence actually carried out? Does such data even exist? I'm only asking out of curiosity, not for any professional or education project.
posted by rupeh to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
EDIT: I would also like to know if there is any way to find out what cases a particular lawyer has handled, along with their details and outcome.
posted by rupeh at 11:47 AM on January 11, 2012

That's a whole lot of digging for just curiosity's sake. And "income/profession of defendant" won't be there anywhere. Nor will most of the details you're after about the defense counsel. And "sentenced actually carried out" - what would you mean by the sentence NOT being carried out? I'm interested in where your curiosity is coming from.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:52 PM on January 11, 2012

I'm an articling student in Toronto. I don't think what you are describing exists in a plausibly retrievable way. You might be able to get some trial time data from the provincial government (the keywords you want are 'Justice on Target').

In terms of looking up cases for a specific lawyer, you could try a full-text search on CanLII for their surname and that might catch something. If you happen to be affiliated with York University or the University of Toronto, you might inquire at their respective law faculties about access to the services Quicklaw and Westlaw, which have broader coverage than CanLII.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 1:29 PM on January 11, 2012

This is very specialised informations (as noted, some of it not publicly available) so you would need to collect a lot of it yourself from various sources. You would probably not be able to cross reference the information down to the individual cases however.

In addtition to CanLII you will also need to dig through Stats Can reports like the Legal Aid Survey undet the Crime and Justice subject heading. Some of this information would also be collected/reported on in various journals and dissertations.

As to what cases a particular lawyer has handled your best bet would be to call their office and ask. They would be able to tell you the outcome and may be able to direct you to finding some details via CanLII.
posted by saucysault at 3:59 PM on January 11, 2012


I was just wondering how much of a disadvantage the poor and lower-middle-class actually have in our (Canada) justice system. And also wanted to know the type of information available on the net. I believe all court records are available to the public, but know nothing about how to access them.

As for "actual", I was referring to data on how much time/conditions the Judge had sentenced at the time of conviction and whether that had been changed due to sentencing appeals.


Thank-you for that CanLII link, looks like a great resource. Are Quicklaw and Westlaw services available to the general public?

I can't believe that a website hasn't been setup that rates lawyers :)
posted by rupeh at 4:06 PM on January 11, 2012

I see from the CanLII website, that LexiNexis would also be a source for Canadian court decisions. However, the LexisNexis site doesn't seem to offer access to their data to the general public.

Has anyone used their service, or know what types of Canadian court related data they offer?
posted by rupeh at 4:23 PM on January 11, 2012

LexisNexis's Canadian product is called Quicklaw :)

It's available to anyone, but absurdly expensive. (Same with Westlaw.) You really need to find an institution with a subscription.

Their data is, basically, the content of Canadian court and tribunal decisions/orders/judgments.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 5:59 PM on January 11, 2012

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