Canada’s online legal magazine.

Short URLs — Again — Briefly

I recently posted about PURLs, the venerable OCLC service for providing persistent, and incidentally shorter, URLs. If it’s the shortening feature you want, and if you use Firefox (and who doesn’t?), you may be interested in the Firefox extension W3T URL Shrinker. Once installed, you right click on the page you want a short address for, choose “Shorten this URL” from the context menu, and up comes the brief address.

You can find it at a very long URL, or at . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Index to Common Law Festschriften

Pat Northey of LawHawk in New Zealand sends this to Slaw:

The Index to Common Law Festschriften is an exciting new addition to legal research is the culmination of a three-year project funded by the Law Foundation and undertaken by a small team at the University of Auckland Library and Law School under the direction of Professor Mike Taggart. This is the first index of contributions to common law Festschriften and fills a serious bibliographic gap in the literature of the common law. This collection is complemented by the Legal Essays collection available from the Davis Law Library.

There are . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Camera Phone Scanner

[S]oftware, developed by NEC and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) in Japan, goes further than existing cellphone camera technology by allowing entire documents to be scanned simply by sweeping the phone across the page….

Using the new software with a 1-megapixel camera held at least 20centimetres away, an A4 sized page takes about 3 to 5 seconds to scan. This produces between 21 and 35 images which the software merges together to extract the text and record any images….

[T]he concern now is that this technology will catapult the publishing industry into a copyright furore similar to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Technology & First Year Law Students

Every year at the UVic Faculty of Law we have our 1st year students fill out a survey, which among other things, asks them about the technology that they are bringing with them into law schools. It is interesting to see the trends over the three years that we have been administering the survery (see the PDF for the charts that tell the story). Some of the highlights are:

  • 2 students out of the 104 surveyed do not have access to either a laptop or a computer at home.
  • 86% of students own laptops, and 86% of those laptops are
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Internet and Surveillance

Reporters Without BordersReporters Without Borders defends imprisoned journalists and press freedom throughout the world, as well as the right to inform the public and to be informed, in accordance with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Reporters Without Borders has nine national sections (in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), representatives in Abidjan, Bangkok, Istanbul, Montreal, Moscow, New York, Tokyo and Washington and more than a hundred correspondents worldwide.
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law via the Internet

The 7th International Conference on the Computerization of Law via the Internet, will be taking place this year, from November 17th to 19th in Vanuatu. I’m sure many in the SLAW community are already aware of this conference, but given the topic, if a SLAW contributor were going to be attending perhaps they could volunteer to make some posts from the conference. I am sure there will be some topics that will lead to good discussions in this forum.

Past conferences have been in Montreal, Sydney and Paris, . . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Global Slaw

I’ve come across a nifty little service, gVisit, that, via some javascript on your site, monitors site visitors and creates a map of their locations using Google Maps. The free version records your site’s last 20 visitors. When I can figure out how to do it, I’ll create a page with a link on the main page, that will let the curious see who’s been scoping Slaw.

But for now I wanted to share this map with you, from yesterday. (Sorry about the quality: I had to cut and paste and then shrink to fit.) I love the fact . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Historical Legislation at Your Fingertips

Our Future, Our Past: The Alberta Heritage Digitization Project (AHDP) is an ongoing, not-for-profit endeavor to provide all those interested in Alberta’s history free, online access to cultural and heritage materials. Don Sanders, librarian at the University of Calgary Law School headed up the legislative project, and the steering committee which I belonged to.

The University of Calgary Press with the support of the Alberta Law Foundation are behind the project, which has now digitized all of the documents that form Alberta’s legislative history. Here you will find all of the Statutes up to 1990, Legislative Assembly Bills, Debates and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Title Maché

“Paper is everywhere -- floating in the water, trapped in tree branches,? says the Los Angeles Times. For instance, in the basement of the Civil District Courthouse, three bocks from the Superdome, water has lapped over 20 per cent of the 60,000 leather bound books that contain records of all the property transfers in the modern era.... “Whatever our records say, that's who owns the property.?Can you imagine the difficulty?
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Websites – the Definitive Source?

A recent Ontario Reports paper part contained a new Superior Court of Justice Practice Direction – correction – contained a summary of the Practice Direction, and advised readers to consult for further details.

I guess it’s fair to assume that all Ontario lawyers now access websites regularly. It is certainly helpful to know there is one website containing such valuable information. Lawyers in other areas of practice, such as corporate finance, are quite used to accessing websites for day to day valuable information, so the use of websites to convey legal information is not new. The only issue, I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The New (?) Economics of Canadian Legal Research

Simon Chester’s post last month about outsourcing legal research referred to a recent U.S. article. Last week, one of my partners forwarded an email he had received from an Indian-based “professional legal organization” offering legal research and writing services.

The prices quoted (US $10 – 15/hour for legal services and US $199 for legal research services on a case – work completed in 72 hours) are much lower than the rates quoted in the earlier article. At these prices, it’s hard to avoid the temptation to “try them out”.

In the wake of Katrina, a number of state jurisdictions are . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous