CanLII introduces The Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide

The Best Guide to Canadian Legal Research has been freely available on the internet since 1998. The original author and publisher was Catherine Best. The site grew out of Catherine’s experience teaching legal research and writing, and her conviction that a process-based analytic approach was needed. She was also motivated to help researchers learn to effectively use electronic research tools.

Catherine Best retired in 2015 and generously donated the site to CanLII to use as our legal research guide going forward. Best says:

“The world of legal research is dramatically different than it was in 1998. However, the site’s emphasis on research process and effective electronic research continues to fill a need. It will be fascinating to see what changes the next 15 years will bring.”

The site has been renamed The Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide, and it will stay at We have also added the domain to accommodate the possibility of future expansion of the guide into French.

It will be maintained and expanded by a national editorial board of five legal researchers. From Atlantic Canada, the board includes Jennifer Taylor, Research Lawyer at Stewart McKelvey in Halifax. She is a regular contributor of case comments for Stewart McKelvey PublicationsCanLII Connects; and the CBA’s National Magazine blog, and has published several articles in legal journals and newsletters.

Over the coming months, the editorial board will be updating the site and expanding it, with an emphasis on adding more geographically diverse content.

Read more in the July 22 announcement on The CanLII Blog.