Deep Linking To Paragraphs Now Possible in CanLII

February 11, 2011

Users of the CanLII judgment databases published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute will be interested in the new decision paragraph deep linking feature.

When citing a specific paragraph of a decision containing numbered paragraphs, it is now possible to create a hyperlink directly to that paragraph:

You now have the ability to establish hyperlinks directly to most decisions’ numbered paragraphs posted on CanLII. This feature is merely embedded in the HTML code of decisions as anchors which are not displayed at the moment, but you will be able to make good use of it by following these simple instructions.

When you are accessing a decision page on CanLII, a permanent URL for this decision is provided, which looks like:

You might have already used this URL to establish a link to a decision, either by pasting it in an e-mail or a document.

Now, you can establish a link directly to a specific numbered paragraph within a decision, simply by adding #par followed by the paragraph’s number, after the basic URL. For instance, a hyperlink to paragraph 69 of the Oakes Supreme Court of Canada decision should be formatted as follows:

Please note that many older decisions do not have numbered paragraphs. Also, since this feature is the result of automated processing, there will always remain a small proportion of decisions which numbered paragraphs can’t be properly tagged.

Combined with the ability to link to specific sections of acts, this feature will allow for the development of more advanced search and citation tools in the near future, for the benefit of CanLII users.

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