Access to Law-Related Information in Canada in the Digital Age

I have posted my recently completed LL.M. thesis online for those who might be interested. It is entitled Access to Law-Related Information in Canada in the Digital Age and is available in its entirety or in the following chapter headings on a separate page on SLAW:

  • Abstract and Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Access to Law-Related Information as a Fundamental Right
  • Chapter 2: Complexity as a Factor Inhibiting Access to the Law in Canada
  • Chapter 3: The Market for Law-Related Information in Canada: The History of Legal Publishing in Canada
  • Chapter 4: The Impact of Crown Copyright on Access to Law-Related Information
  • Chapter 5: The Shrinking Information Commons and Private Control of Public Goods: The Commercialization of the Internet
  • Chapter 6: Thirty Years Later: The 1975 Access to the Law Study and the Role of Major Players in Providing Access to the Law
  • Recommendations and Conclusions
  • The abstract is set out below for those interested in a quick overview:

    Ted Tjaden, Access to Law-Related Information in Canada in the Digital Age– Abstract:

    Access to law-related information in Canada is – and should be – a fundamental right. This access is crucial in a democracy such as Canada that follows the rule of law since access to legislation, case law and other government information that is law-related is essential for an informed citizenry. However, a number of factors negatively impact this access, including the complexity of the Canadian legal system, the small size of the Canadian legal publishing industry, Crown copyright, contradictory government information policies, and a shrinking public domain through the digitization of information and other roadblocks on the Internet. The stakeholders involved – the government, private publishers, lawyers, law schools, and other public interest groups – have important roles to play in improving access, particularly through the use of Internet technologies. Recommendations are therefore included regarding specific steps that can be taken to improve access to law-related information in Canada in the digital age.

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