Customize Your Own “global” Databases on CanLII

Although I suspect someone on SLAW has likely already commented on what follows, I couldn’t easily find a post (although Simon Fodden’s post here in 2008 discusses CanLII’s Database Search).

I realized yesterday that if one selects a number of databases on CanLII from the Database Search screen (e.g., all decisions from labour and employment tribunals or all decisions from human rights tribunals), the resulting URL when clicking on “Search” with a “blank” search is a stable URL that can be sent to a user or linked on an intranet to, in essence, create a customized “global” database search for the user to focus their search on the given topic.

Perhaps too obvious a thing too mention, but my tired brain yesterday thought it was pretty neat.

Here are the links to the foregoing two examples:

All Labour and Employment Tribunal Decisions on CanLII (excluding workers comp, human rights, and OHSA databases): Click here.

In the foregoing example, clicking on the link indicates that, as of this morning, there were 109,685 decisions on CanLII from the various labour- and employment-related databases chosen. With this search, one can then simply search those labour and employment decisions by full-text, by case name, and so on.

All Human Rights Tribunal Decisions on CanLII: Click here.

In this example, clicking on the link indicates that, as of this morning, there were 12,250 decisions on CanLII from the various human rights-related databases chosen.

I guess the disadvantage of adding these “stable” links to intranets is that new databases might be added to CanLII after the stable link was created, forcing the keeper of the link to periodically check or update the link. Likewise, users should be told of the scope of the databases included (as I have tried to do above, where I indicated the link for labour and employment decisions did not include workers comp, human rights, and OHSA decisions). However, the resulting “search page” is fairly transparent, indicating a summary of the total number of databases included from each jurisdiction with the ability for the user to click through for the details of which databases are included.

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