Movement for Open Access to Law

The Lewis and Clark Law Review volume 10:4 (Winter 2006) is devoted to papers from a symposium for open access publishing and the future of legal scholarship. One of the lead articles by Michael Carrol, “The Movement for Open Access to Law” describes the development of the open access movement that gave rise to CANLII and WorldlI but wishes to see this go further and argues that the “time is ripe for legal scholars and scholarly legal periodicals to fully join this movement for open access to law” (741). While most Canadian law reviews are members of the Legal Scholarship Network this is a subscription based service, not openly available to the public. The Bepress Legal Repository has no Canadian law schools nor does the NELLCO Scholarship Repository.

Although SLAW has had postings about this in the past, it is an issue that has fallen off the dance card, but one which needs to be kept at the forefront. While groups such as SPARC continue to develop and advocate for open access to journal literature, and I think time develop a strategic direction and platform in Canada for open access to legal scholarship that follows logically from the Montreal Declaration on Public Access to Law and the subsequent development of CANLII as a national platform of open access to legal material.


  1. Simon C. correctly reminded me that this does seem to duplicate recent postings, which I mentioned generally but not specifically in a admittedly ham-handed way. However, my intent was not to duplicate, but to further an ongoing dialog on this, as a way to enlist ideas from SLAW on where to go with this, and was mostly sparked by my involvement as a faculty supervisor in UVic’s student run law journal Appeal. In this capacity, I have been looking at this issue, and in this context I actually intended to refer to some of the issues in the upcoming Public Knowledge Project Conference at SFU in July.

    My apologies for the redundancies and my thanks to Simon.