Look at the Headnote

Headnotes – a brief summary, comment, or explanation, often prepared by an editor and pladed at the beginning of a court decision. In the opinion of this librarian – the value added information about a decision that quickly and succinctly gives a hint of it’s relevance to an immediate legal research question.

Today’s Tip is a pointer that the definition of headnote applies to CanLII in a new and useful way.


What happens when you select “show headnote” for this decision from the SCC? In addition to the court prepared summary that is embedded in a Supreme court of Canada decision, CanLII has long provided links to related decisions, legislation cited that is available on CanLII and decisions that are cited in the case.  In addition to those value added features showing the headnote on CanLII now offers a link to the new CanLII Connects service. You will see:

“Visit CanLII·Connects – summaries and opinions from the legal community on selected cases”

For this decision, there are currently 3 case comments from registered CanLII Connects members – lawyers, scholars and others with professional competency in legal analysis who have offered CanLII Connects content for the information of anyone who wishes to read it – See more about CanLII Connects.

I appreciate the ability to see commentary about decisions.  This innovation with add more ‘social’ to legal commentary. The legal community speaking to each other through published case commentary has been wonderful.  The legal community offering select commentary to our own clients and through our own websites has also been very useful. It will be interesting to see how socializing legal commentary with this offer of case comments easily available to all impacts the legal information space.

Thanks to Colin and Sarah at CanLII for this new tool, and to all the firms and lawyers who took the time and continue to contribute to this resource.

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