Deep Links to Paragraphs in CanLII Judgments

A short tip today to remind you that you can deep link to a specific paragraph for most judgments on CanLII. This is helpful when you want to bring a colleague’s attention to specific paragraphs in a judgment.

Each decision on CanLII has a permanent URL, which will look like this:

To create a link directly to paragraph 21 of this decision, just add #par21 after this permanent URL. The link to paragraph 21 of the decision would look like this:

I often use this when I’m sending a list of relevant case law to a colleague and want them to be able to dive into the most relevant excerpts, as opposed to flipping back and forth to my email to double check which paragraph I mentioned. For example, if I wanted to share some recent judicial consideration of section 8 of the federal Interest Act, I might send them the following linked list.

My thanks to Frédéric Pelletier, of Lexum, who wrote about this on the CanLII blog back in 2011. He included a caveat to his post, which I will reproduce below:

Please note that many older decisions do not have numbered paragraphs and so this tip will not work [for them]. 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.

Bronwyn Guiton (@BronwynMaye)


  1. Hi Bronwyn,

    CanLII deep-linking doesn’t work for me.

    When I type in the string, and link it to my pinpointed citation, it reads correctly – all is fine, but then, when you actually click on the link (in Word document, Outlook email, etc.), it replaces the “#” sign with “%20-%20” resulting in a

    HTTP Status 404 error – The requested resource is not available.

    Same thing happens, deep-linking to specific articles in legislation.

    Deep-linking just to the case/legislation itself, from the very top, works fine.

    I contacted CanLII about this months ago; still no response.

    If readers know of a work-around, I’d really appreciate it.


  2. Hi Michelle, my experience with this feature is in emails sent and received through Outlook. It seems to work fine in that capacity.

    I just tried to replicate the error you’re getting in Word, but it seemed to be working for me there too.

    I’m wondering if it’s something to do with your office’s internet security set up. I would be curious if you could replicate the error from your home computer and internet.

  3. Bronwyn,

    Deep-linking works fine from home – in Outlook and Word.

    Will have to investigate with IT department why the conversion of the # sign is taking place.


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