Nothing excites librarians quite like citation guides! While many people are familiar with the products available through the major publishers, our colleagues across the country have been busy working on an open access guide that will be free and accessible for all. We’re so pleased to announce that the Canadian Open Access Legal (COAL) Citation Guide/Guide canadien de la référence juridique en accès libre (RJAL) is now freely available on CanLII.

This guide is a continually-evolving publication, and there is an email included below for any feedback. Stay tuned as well, as there will be training sessions for this guide offered this fall!

You can read the full press release below.

The Canadian Open Access Legal (COAL) Citation Guide/Guide canadien de la référence juridique en accès libre (RJAL), which began with the desire for an open-access legal citation guide in Canada, is now available:

Over the course of two years, law librarians from across Canada worked together to create the COAL-RJAL Guide. The English version of the Guide is now freely available and hosted on CanLII (2024 CanLIIDocs 830), and the French version is in progress. The Guide is intended to be used throughout the legal field and incorporates feedback contributed by reviewers from Canadian courts, law firms, law journals, law societies, and law schools.

COAL-RJAL is freely available on CanLII, allowing anyone requiring a Canadian legal citation guide to access it online without financial barriers. This Guide will reduce the financial burden on law students, new lawyers, and sole practitioners and will also support self-represented litigants, libraries, and other organizations with an access to justice mission.

The Editorial Board of COAL-RJAL is a national, bilingual, and bijural group, committed to continuity of the Guide and continuous knowledge building. Regular Guide updates will centre the needs of the legal community by incorporating user feedback and responding to emerging developments, while maintaining long-term consistency.

The legal community’s support and expertise is the foundation for COAL-RJAL’s success. Explore the Guide on CanLII for writing, editing, or teaching, and give us your feedback. The Guide will be enriched by contributions from a diverse group of people sharing their knowledge. Connect with the Editorial Board at for feedback, volunteer inquiries, and more.

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