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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Publishing’

Benefits of Law Blogging

It is the time of year when blogging is celebrated. The Clawbies, the Blawggies and ABA Blawg 100 winners have been announced and the ABA Blawg 100 Hall of Fame was added to. January is also a time when infrequent posters get their game on and make “this year I will post more often” promises.

Great stories have been shared on the benefits of blogging from a variety of people.

There are many benefits that have come my way from blogging. I have met some great friends, gained some street cred by being recognized by clients waiting in our . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

UN Database on Gender in Constitutions

UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, a three-year-old organization, has made available online a database of those provisions in nations’ constitutions that concern gender. The Constitutional Database covers 195 countries and provides relevant passages in both the original language and English translation. It is possible to download the entire database in PDF.

The database is searchable, of course, with filters available for country, region, or type of provision (e.g. reproductive rights, marriage family rights, equality…).

[Hat tip: Blogging for Equality] . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Debut of Journal of Open Access to Law

Join me in welcoming the debut of Journal of Open Access to Law, or JOAL. A post on the B-SCREEDS blog at the Legal Information Institute announced the launch:

I’m proud to announce the debut of the Journal of Open Access to Law, a multidisciplinary journal that will publish the work that its title suggests: research related to legal information that is made openly available on the Internet.

Simon Fodden wrote about the new peer-reviewed journal in June, posting about the call for papers for the first issue.

That issue is now available and, true to its subject, is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

McGill Podcasts

If you like podcasts, and who doesn’t — it’s hard to beat learning something and getting to close your eyes at the same time — you might take a listen to the McGill Podcasts, and particularly those in their Law & Society category. There are about twenty or so “pure” podcasts and the same number again of earlier videos.

The subjects range widely, including, for instance, “The Syrian conflict and the International Criminal Court: Interview with Human Rights Watch’s Richard Dicker,” “Tax Avoidance, Tax Evasion, and Tax Justice with Professor Allison Christians,” “Racial Profiling . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Publishing

“Canadian International Lawyer” Calls for Submissions

Canadian International Lawyer, a journal published by the Canadian Bar Association’s section on international law, has put out a call for submissions in all the journal’s sections (articles, case commentary, practice notes, legal developments) for its two upcoming issues (summer 2014 and winter 2015). According to Noemi Gal-Or, the journal editor:

Articles should have a practice focus, relevant to Canadian international legal practitioners. Instructions to authors can be found [via email] at

The journal is published twice annually with articles in English or in French and is available free to CBA members who have joined the international . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Publishing

The Future of Legal Writing: Online and Short Form

In 1936, Yale law professor Fred Rodell wrote “[t]here are two things wrong with almost all legal writing. One is its style. The other is its content.”

Some things never change, but the growth of legal blogging over the past decade would give hope to even Professor Rodell that not all legal writing must suffer from these twin deficiencies. In fact, the good professor might even be persuaded to accept that short form legal writing through blogs serves as a valuable source of legal scholarship.

In the context of a for-credit tech law internship overseen by the University of Ottawa . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Are Reports to the Police Protected From Defamation Suits?

Preserving one’s reputation is a fine value – and one that the law of libel strives to protect. But it’s not absolute, and the law recognizes that some communications are so important that they must trump reputation. That’s why communications that enjoy privilege are defensible in defamation cases. So is there a qualified privilege when reporting relevant information to the police in good faith, protecting the individual reporting the information from a libel suit. The answer is Yes.
Posted in: Case Comment, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Senate Reform at the SCC

We know that today marks the start of the Senate reform reference at the Supreme Court of Canada. I am certain that many of us wish we had three days to devote to viewing the webcasts of this event. If you cannot make the time for full attention to the webcast, Eugene Meehan kindly tweeted some of the grab and go information sources.

Tweet by tweet coverage is being handled by:

There are some hashtags that are currently in use including #SenCa #SCC and #cdnpoli

If you are planning to watch an SCC Webcast, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Four Choice Titles From the Osgoode Society

…and a love-in for Roy McMurtry

The Osgoode Society held its annual book launch last Wednesday at Osgoode Hall. The event was a stellar occasion, with many celebrity authors and guests in attendance and four choice titles to applaud. Authors Charlotte Gray and Roy McMurtry in particular helped draw a record crowd that included among many notable jurists, Aharon Barak, a former chief justice of Israel, and Rosalie Abella, a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and the leading cheerleader for legal research and writing in Canada.

McMurtry himself was the object of a virtual “love-in” as long time . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Reading

Stopping Link Rot in Law?

As we’ve discussed a number of times on Slaw, a good many hyperlinks break over time as their targets get moved or taken down. This link rot is particularly challenging in academia and in law, where cited authorities are an important component of one’s argument.

In a 16 page document available on SSRN three weeks ago, “Perma: Scoping and Addressing the Problem of Link and Reference Rot in Legal Citations,” Harvard professors Jonathan Zittrain and Kendra Albert:

. . . document a serious problem of reference rot: more than 70% of the URLs within the Harvard Law Review

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

Crowdfunding Publication of Industry Standards

Industry standards are wonderful things. They help keep us safe in myriad contexts; they promote economic efficiency; they form a kind of “democratized” and rational element to a lot of legislation, typically by being incorporated by reference.

And they’re really rather expensive to consult.

So, according to an article in Next City, Carl Malamud is buying copies of safety standards across the US, scanning them, and putting them online for anyone to consult for free. The folks who develop these standards object. They’ve launched a lawsuit claiming that Malamud is infringing on their copyrights. In order to defend the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information: Publishing

21st C Lament

Earlier this week I had one of those discussions/debates with a friend of mine whereby neither of us could remember a certain point. However, our discussion was quickly laid to rest with a quick perusal of the nearest search engine. In our particular case we were trying to remember all the characters that have been in KISS (avec make-up). Trust me, it is not as easy to recall as you might think (absent enlistment in the KISS army).

This occasion brought home a lament of mine, that the interweb has killed the bar stool argument, one no longer goes back . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing