Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Computer Law, Internet Law, Civil Procedure, electronic evidence, discovery, civil litigation, e-discovery


Canada is a bilingual and bi-jurisdictional country. Most provinces and territories are mainly English speaking and have common law as the basis for their legal system. The exception is the province of Quebec which is governed by civil law and where the majority speaks French. However, it must be noted that Quebec civil law has been substantially affected by common law, in particular with respect to discovery rules. The latter are closer to common law discovery rules than they are from, for instance, French civil law. Another important factor for the review of the management of digital evidence in Canada is the existence of different jurisdictions within each province. Canada has a federal system, with a national court system and court systems in each province and territory. The federal courts have limited authority and focus mainly on immigration, intellectual property, maritime and other 'national concerns'. The courts of appeal, the superior (or supreme, depending on the province or territory) courts, the provincial courts and administrative tribunals in each province hear the bulk of the cases. Provincial laws dictate the practice of civil litigation, and discovery is governed by rules of civil procedure or, in Quebec, the Code of Civil Procedure (C.C.P.).


From the Selected Works of Steve Coughlan.