In the days of electronic access, judicial decisions (and sometimes other court records that have always been public in principle) no longer benefit from practical obscurity. Court have had to wrestle with the consequences of this, including tailoring the way decisions are written to reduce the amount of personal information they contain.
The Canadian Judicial Council has published material on this, as have the federal and state courts in the US.
Recently a US lawyer proposed that databases of court decisions should block search engines from indexing the decisions – a block that is very easy to implement, with a robots.txt notice put in the metadata of the site containing the decisions.
Is that a good idea? It would not bar access to those who know where to look (such as Can LII for Canadian decisions), but it would keep the casual searcher from stumbling upon potentially intimate, disputed or outdated information about people who may not have been voluntarily engaged in litigation.
Should Canadian court databases do this? What is CanLII’s policy?