Canada’s online legal magazine.

Australian Law on the Web

I have been surprised lately to see a growing number of postings by Canadian law librarians on both Canadian and Australian listservs, seeking help in locating specific Australian cases, often prefaced by the statement that their library does not subscribe to relevant commercial databases. These message are usually responded to by Australian law librarians pointing to AustLII. AustLII is a terrific free resource that provides full-text access to decisions from all Australian courts and tribunals (many of them comprehensive in coverage). It was in fact the progenitor for most of the other “LIIs”, many of which it hosts and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Job Postings at Osgoode

I know that SLAW wasn’t created with the idea of being a venue for posting job advertisements, but as the readers and contributors of SLAW
are just the sort of people we would hope to attract, I hope to be forgiven. Osgoode Hall Law School has vacancies for two full-time librarians, a Head of Public Services who will undertake a major rebuilding of that area here, and a reference librarian. These are the first of several positions that will be advertised over the next two years. Full details on the York University website. (search on “librarian” or “osgoode”). I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Searches Used in Evidence

Thanks to Alan Gahtan’s blog for the following juicy story: don’t google for an article on “22 ways to kill a man with your bare hands.”

Google Searches Used at Murder Trial
November 12th, 2005

Techdirt has a blog referencing a CRN article regarding use by the prosecution at trial of a murder suspect’s Google searches. Aside from other digital evidence discovered on the defendant’s hard drive by the prosecution’s forensic expert such as emails and incriminating websites that were visited, authorities claim that the defendant looked up the depth and topography of a lake where the body of his

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario Gazette Goes AWOL

On Thursday law librarians in Toronto discovered that the Ontario Gazette from 2000 to 2002 had been removed from its website, whereas the website says:

This site is presented by Publications Ontario as a pilot project to make the Gazette available to the public on the Internet. It will allow you to view all issues of the Gazette, in PDF format only, from the beginning of January 2000.

Some libraries have come to depend upon the electronic version, expecting it to all be kept on the web from January 2000 forward. An email campaign protesting the change to Publications Ontario . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Educaloi Launches in English

I missed this announcement – it’s always good to have sites which are committed to public information about the law.

MONTREAL, Oct. 17 /CNW Telbec/ – Today, Educaloi unveiled the English version of its legal information website, , before a gathering of nearly 150 people at the Atwater Market Reception Hall. The Educaloi site contains over 1000 pages of free legal information and hundreds of information sheets on a variety of subjects, including court procedure, family law, employment, housing, criminal law and consumer rights.

Educaloi’s mission of providing Quebecers with clear and accessible legal information. “The Educaloi team has

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Some Old Insights Worth Re-Examining

With all of the preoccupation we have today with organizing the millions of files and documents we collect in our firms and organizations and on the web — and rightfully so, in my humble opinion — I often refer colleagues to a paper: THE SECOND COMING — A MANIFESTO By David Gelernter. In this paper, published a few years ago, David challenges many of the norms and mental models on which our current computing platforms are based.

Whether you agree with him or not on all or any of his 58 points, it is worth the read. David challenges . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What Next Google?

Where to from here? First, Google becomes a verb — as in: ‘I googled him/her/it’. Indeed, being ‘googled’ has its own meaning in today’s common language. Then like many great brands (such as Kleenex™) that become synonymous with the product they represent (e.g tissues) ‘Google’ has become synonymous with ‘search’.

Even the Merian-Webster dictionary and Wikipedia have definitions for the verb ‘Google’. Now we have a new use for the word. Google has been used as a name for a kid in Sweden born September 12th (Source: Googleblog). Oliver Google Kai was named by his search engine consultant father, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

LII and Cornell Launch Wex!

The Legal Information Institute and Cornell Law School are announcing Wex, “a collaboratively built, freely available legal dictionary and encyclopedia“.

From the Wex FAQ:

WEX is a collaboratively-edited legal dictionary and encyclopedia. It is intended for a broad audience of people we refer to as “law novices” — which at one time or another describes practically everyone, even law students and lawyers entering new areas of law. No doubt purists will be quick to point out the differences between a dictionary and an encyclopedia. We deliberately blur the distinction, as we are interested in providing

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Digital Archive of Legal History?

The British papers are full of the British Library’s deal with Microsoft to digitize 25 million pages of material (100,000 books) that is outside the period of copyright protection: see

I was surprised at how little the classics of the law are available from the regular search engines on the open web.

I did a small experiment on Google, Google Scholar, and Google Print, looking for the five great treatises of the English common law: Glanvill’s Treatise on the laws and customs of the realm of England, Bracton, Littleton’s Tenures, Coke and Blackstone, together with Sir John Fortescue’s De . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Through Thick to Thin

“Let me have men about me that are fat, sleek-headed men and, such as sleep o’nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much, such men are dangerous.”

The coming thing in technology is “thin clients.” Bill Gates is worried that Microsoft will be left behind, and his hungry competitors
are legion, all of them investing like crazy in thin.

This might not be such a good thing for lawyers, having nothing to do with whether the wallets of the clients who come in the door are fat or lean. A thin client is . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous