Canada’s online legal magazine.

Simple Search

I thought I’d do a simple search for law AND Canada OR Canadian in Google and Yahoo (and Yahoo’s Mindset, set all the way to “research”) to see those sites that have been updated in the last 3 months. Some observations about the results:

  1. Google’s results were more interesting and fruitful than Yahoo’s, including those from Mindset. Now this might change from day to day, but it means for me at least that I’m not making a huge mistake in going with Google for the first round of internet searching.
  2. There’s not a whole lot out there about or of
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Proposal for a Free Web-Based Canadian Legal Encylopedia

One of the recommendations I made in my LLM thesis entitled Access to Law-Related Information in Canada in the Digital Age was a proposal to implement Professor Friedland’s vision from the mid 1970’s for a Canadian law-related encyclopedia that would answer real-life legal questions. In his 1975 study entitled Access to the Law, Professor Friedland concluded that the typical Canadian did not have easy access to the law and had difficulty understanding the law once accessed. One of his recommendations was to call for a legal encyclopedia for each province that would be updated regularly. The following is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Theses Canada Portal – Online Dissertations

Further to my previous post (making my LL.M. thesis available online), some readers may not have yet bookmarked the Theses Canada Portal website from Library and Archives Canada.

The mission of Theses Canada is to “acquire and preserve a comprehensive collection of Canadian theses at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), to provide access to this valuable research within Canada and throughout the world.” Increasingly, you will find recent Canadian Master’s and Doctoral theses online (in full-text). For example, I did a title keyword search using “internet” and “law” at this site and uncovered, among other things, the following recent . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Access to Law-Related Information in Canada in the Digital Age

I have posted my recently completed LL.M. thesis online for those who might be interested. It is entitled Access to Law-Related Information in Canada in the Digital Age and is available in its entirety or in the following chapter headings on a separate page on SLAW:

  • Abstract and Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Access to Law-Related Information as a Fundamental Right
  • Chapter 2: Complexity as a Factor Inhibiting Access to the Law in Canada
  • Chapter 3: The Market for Law-Related Information in Canada: The History of Legal Publishing in Canada
  • Chapter 4: The Impact of Crown Copyright on Access to Law-Related
  • . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Canadian Legal Technology Sites

    During some recent web surfing, I only just realized that the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has its own XML feed, for those interested. The CBA also has a technology resources page. Some of the recent articles are on topics of technologies for solo, home and mobile lawyers and effective computer presentations for lawyers. The site also links to articles from and provides “feeds of the week” and links to other legal technology sites. . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

    Our firm is on the verge of rolling out its SharePoint portal. Akin to renovating one’s home, it is difficult to resist the urge to tackle one more project “while you’re at it”. Project managers warned me about scope creep but that didn’t stop my inclination to completely overhaul the desktop.

    This background is intended to give some context to our decision to voluntarily remove the QL “classic” direct connection from our network tonight. From tomorrow onwards, all of our core Canadian online legal research services will be delivered through browser interfaces.

    As the head of our portal project, I . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    The New Wave? Subscription Archives

    Customers have been pushing the legal publishers of annual publication editions and online services to create “archival” versions of the publications. The first one I have seen is

    Martin’s Archival Criminal Code from Canada Law Book.

    From the description:

    Martin’s Archival Criminal Code is a unique and convenient online resource that offers you easy access to fifty years of the Criminal Code and commentary in one place. This archival collection from 1955 to the present will enable you to access the Criminal Code at a specific point in time.

    It looks like a good idea, and I am interested . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    We Do Love Our Lists: Best of the Blogs

    The WebLog 2005 Awards have closed nominations for the best web logs, and now we can vote. The blogs are put into categories, including law blogs, and international (including Best Canadian blogs). Here’s the link to the top 15 law blogs you can vote on: And, for voting on the best Canadian blog (none of which appear to be blawgs): . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Oxford Companion to Law

    A couple of weeks back Simon Chester referred to the value of the Oxford Companion to Law, which I endorsed in a comment, but it occurs to me that it is worth highlighting on the ‘main’ page. A copy of this wonderful book sits very close to me at all times. I answered my first reference question from it, way back sometime in the early 1980s – one that’s always stuck in my memory. Someone wanted to know when Jack the Ripper
    did his horrible deeds. Sure enough the Oxford Companion has an entry that gives the details. Now of . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    The Personal Library and Scholarship

    In my earlier posts, I mentioned the contribution that lawyers have made to libraries and to our understanding of the law. Speaking of a personal library, the prime example must be the Ess Collection, which was the largest individual contribution to the Harvard Collection. There is a delightful essay by Ess which describes the library of a Sixteenth Century English Lawyer at .

    Ess was an interesting chap – I found it fascinating that his collection was largely stored at Sullivan and Cromwell – see
    And there is a nice summary of Ess’ place among Harvard benefactors at . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

    This reporter had no axe to grind. Thought this was a nice piece on the next generation of law students, who are tomorrow’s practitioners. You need to read the full article.
    I quote without comment

    A component of Pitt Law’s foundations of legal research class sends first-year students flipping through the wood pulp for legal information. Called “scavenger hunts” or “search and destroy” for their effect on the library stacks, this exercise requires law students to learn cross-referencing methods in the profession’s most antiquated medium.

    First-year student Yvonne Messeih added, “If you are working for someone who is old-fashioned,

    . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous