Interlibrary Loan Procedures

NOTICE: The Supreme Court of Canada Library is open to external clients. Due to current repairs, some of the materials may not be available for interlibrary loan until further notice.

Who can use the service?

  • Libraries acting on behalf of their clients.
  • Individual researchers who want to request interlibrary loans (ILL) from the Supreme Court must do so through affiliated libraries.

How do libraries make a request?

  • First make sure that the desired document is in the Library’s collection by searching in our catalogue.
  • A request for an interlibrary loan must be made using the interlibrary request form. The requesting library will need a user account and a system password, which can be obtained by contacting the ILL service at
  • Interlibrary loan requests can also be made by telephone at 613-996-8120 or by fax at 613-952-2832.

How long does it take to obtain materials?

  • The Supreme Court Library endeavours to get materials to our clients by the requested time; some requests may take longer, however, depending on the complexity of the request and the availability of the materials.

What kinds of materials can be borrowed?

  • Most of our print collection and certain materials in other formats are available for loan.
    The following materials will not be loaned out, however:
    • Looseleaf editions.
    • Materials from our Rare Books collection and anything printed before 1900.
    • New library titles, current journal volumes featured in our weekly electronic “Table of Contents” service and other materials from our Research and Reserve collection.
    • Materials from our electronic collection that are restricted to staff use under licensing agreements with publishers.
    • Any other item in the collection if, in the opinion of Library staff, lending it would have an adverse effect on service to the Court.
  • There is no limit on the number of items that can be borrowed from the Library, but priority is given to our internal clients, and it is possible that not all items will be available at the time of the request.

How can access to court records be requested?

How long is the loan period?

  • The loan periods are as follows:
    • One week:
      • legislation;
      • law reports;
      • audiovisual materials and
      • journal issues
    • Three weeks :
      • books.
  • Every item on loan is subject to recall in the event that it is requested by a member of the Supreme Court’s staff. An item that is recalled must be returned by the date specified in the recall notice.
  • A loan may be renewed up to two times, provided that a request for renewal is made at least three days before the due date.

What formats are available for loan?

  • The Library makes every effort to deliver requested materials in the client’s preferred format, but owing to a variety of factors, including copyright laws, licensing agreements and staff resources, not all preferences can be accommodated.

How are materials delivered?

  • When delivering print and audiovisual materials, the Supreme Court Library will use suitable methods of delivery as requested by the client, including courier, Canada Post, and pickup by the client at the Library’s circulation desk.
  • A client who chooses to have materials delivered by courier must make all necessary arrangements with the courier and pay for this service. If the client chooses to have the materials delivered by Canada Post, the Court will ship them at the Library Book Rate.
  • When requested, the Library will deliver a photocopied or scanned portion of a document in our print collection, provided that what is requested is consistent with copyright laws and that the necessary staff resources are available. If the request cannot be granted, the Library will suggest an alternative source where one exists.
  • As a rule, the Library will not copy more than five percent of a volume. Requests for more than five percent of a volume will be referred to the manager responsible for interlibrary loans and could be denied.
  • When print documents not in the public domain are scanned and delivered electronically, it is the responsibility of the borrowing library to print a copy for delivery and destroy the electronic copy.

What is the procedure for lost documents?

  • The requesting library is responsible for all items borrowed on behalf of its clients. If one of its clients loses an item from the Supreme Court Library's collection, the requesting library must either supply the Library with a replacement copy or reimburse the Library for the cost of replacing the item plus associated administrative costs.

How does the Supreme Court of Canada Library apply copyright legislation and licensing agreements?

  • The Library’s staff comply with copyright legislation and will deny requests that appear to violate it. Additionally, many electronic resources that the Library makes available to Supreme Court staff may be subject to licensing restrictions with which the Library must comply.
  • If a request is made for materials that are restricted under a licensing agreement, the Library will suggest an alternative source for the materials where one exists.

Can my borrowing privileges be suspended?

  • Libraries which repeatedly disregard these ILL procedures may have their borrowing privileges suspended for a period of time to be determined by the Library of the Supreme Court.