European Journal of Law and Technology

The venerable Journal of Information, Law & Technology (JILT) is reborn as the European Journal of Law and Technology. Volume 1, Number 1, available free online, is a special issue, “A History of Legal Informatics”:

  • Let there Be Lite: A Brief History of Legal Information Retrieval (Jon Bing)
  • The Global Development of Free Access To Legal Information (Graham Greenleaf)
  • How Structural Features of the U.S. Judicial System Have Affected the Take-Up of Digital Technology by Courts (Peter W Martin)
  • Legal Informatics – A Personal Appraisal of Context and Progress (Richard Susskind)
  • Jurimetrics Please! (Richard De Mulder)
  • The Rise and Fall of the Legal Expert System (Philip Leith)
  • From Legal Thesaurus to E-Signatures (Fernando Galindo)
  • Socrates and Confucius: A Long History of Information Technology In Legal Education (Abdul Paliwala)

As you might imagine, Canada’s LexUM, CanLII, and Quicklaw are mentioned but are not, in my view, given enough emphasis in the historical essays.

The essay by Susskind (he was a general editor of the predecessor JILT) is in effect the first chapter of his book The End of Lawyers?, and is well worth reading even if “legal informatics” is not of special interest to you.


  1. Yes but if you look at Jon’s Handbook of Legal Information Retrieval, (which is referred to in his first footnote, there is a good twenty page discussion of the state of play in Canada up to the mid-1980s starting at page 310. It is particularly valuable for noting DATUM (Documentation Automatique des Textes juridiques de l’Universite de Montreal) and the evolution to SOQUIJ – see also Léon Bédard, Petite histoire de l’information juridique au Québec at p. 9 of the Journal du Barreau – Juillet 2006.