Canadian non-profit legal database
PurposeLegal education
Parent organization
Federation of Law Societies of Canada,,

The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII; French: Institut canadien d'information juridique) is a non-profit organization created and funded by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada in 2001 on behalf of its 14 member societies. CanLII is a member of the Free Access to Law Movement, which includes the primary stakeholders involved in free, open publication of law throughout the world.[1]


CanLII offers free public access to over 2.4 million documents[2] across more than 300 case law and legislative databases.[3] It is used by lawyers, legal professionals and the general public, with usage averaging over 30,000 visits per day.[4] The case law database is reportedly growing at a rate of approximately 120,000 new cases each year, 20% of which are historic cases which are included to enrich existing databases.[5]

Historical Developments

In April 2014, CanLII launched CanLII Connects, a legal community sourced publication and discussion platform for case law summaries and commentaries.[6][7]

In March 2018, CanLII launched a commentary program including law reviews, e-books, articles, public legal education materials, and reports.[8]

In June 2020, CanLII started actively promoting the CanLII guest writer program.[9]

Other websites will often use CanLII as their primary source when referring to Canadian case law.[10]

Pop Culture

Following the appearance of a Texas attorney on a Zoom call during the COVID-19 pandemic,[11] CanLII temporarily replaced its own logo/wordmark with a variant under the name "CatLII", depicting the likeness of a Zoom cat filter in place of its customary maple leaf in February 2021.[12]


  1. ^ "Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) acquires Lexum, a Montreal technology firm". 2018-02-28. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
  2. ^ "CanLII - Search all CanLII Databases". Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  3. ^ "CanLII - Scope of CanLII's Databases". Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  4. ^ "CanLII's Top Ten Accessed Cases from 2018 – Slaw". 17 December 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  5. ^ "Un million de décisions..." 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  6. ^ "CanLII Connects!". National Magazine. Canadian Bar Association. Archived from the original on 2014-10-19. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  7. ^ Kowalski, Mitch (4 April 2014). "CanLII Connects website connects accessible law to Canadians". Financial Post. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  8. ^ "More commentary!". The CanLII Blog. 2018-04-20. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  9. ^ "CanLII | Common Law Marriage in British Columbia". Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  10. ^ ", retrieved 2021-06-17". Retrieved Dec 30, 2022.
  11. ^ "Attorney-at-paw? Filter makes lawyer look like cat in court". CP24. 2021-02-09. Retrieved 2022-06-25.
  12. ^ Twitter Retrieved 2022-06-25. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links

  • Official website
  • Case commentary website
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