I thought I’d do a simple search for law AND Canada OR Canadian in Google and Yahoo (and Yahoo’s Mindset, set all the way to “research”) to see those sites that have been updated in the last 3 months. Some observations about the results:
- Google’s results were more interesting and fruitful than Yahoo’s, including those from Mindset. Now this might change from day to day, but it means for me at least that I’m not making a huge mistake in going with Google for the first round of internet searching.
- There’s not a whole lot out there about or of Canadian law that the search engines throw up easily — certainly not material self-consciously identified as such. And a good bit of what there is belongs to U.S. efforts.
- Much of what comes up is badly organized and out of date. The winner in this category has to be a Canadiana site from one Stewart Clayman at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, which in fact hasn’t been updated since 2001 (Google relied on updates to the main site). Shocking that this is still sailing the ether like some Flying Dutchman. But… it gave me the URL for a very old site of mine — 1997, in fact — that I found on the Wayback Machine: it’s a page from the Osgoode Hall Law School site I did that collects links to Canadian law sites. I couldn’t resist taking a screenshot of the page.
- There were a scant three sites that I hadn’t known about before that may be of some use to legal researchers:
- Library and Archives Canada’s Canadian Information By Subject: 34 Law
- Vancouver law firm Giaschi and Margolis’s AdmiraltyLaw.com
- and Ottawa Professor Joe Magnet’s Constitutional Law of Canada
There is a whole lot of room out there for some decent information about Canadian law. Perhaps we should give Ted Tjaden’s idea about an internet encyclopedia some serious thought, even if one were to begin with a culling and listing of decent, up-to-date existing sites.