The Windies – Where Are You?

Stray thought on a Sunday night. One of the most difficult places remaining in the Commonwealth, in legal research terms. is the West Indies. There are now more requests for assistance on law librarian listservs for assistance for materials from Caribbean jurisdictions than anywhere else – whether it be tax legislation from Jamaica or cases from Barbados. The region is not as well covered as most African or Pacific jurisdictions which, given its location on the North American doorstep, is inexplicable. And this is the case with respect to both free and paid services as far as I am aware. Time for a WindiesLII? Graham Greenleaf are you listening? Perhaps a topic for discussion at the forthcoming Law and the Internet conference in Vanuatu? Now there’s a place I’d like to be as the weather turns cold and wet in Toronto. G’night.


  1. There is in fact a Commonwealth legal institute that covers the basic laws of some of the Caribbean jurisdictions:

    For some reason it does not have a link from CANLii et al.

  2. I just wanted to echo that I have found this to be the case as well; collections of Caribbean Legislation are incomplete at best, and this includes the Commonwealth LII. We get many requests for Caribbean Leg here owing to our Marine & Environmental Law Institute, yet the Caribbean legislation that is available is usually limited to offshore banking and other business type legislation. The best source of Caribbean Legislation seems to be the University of the West Indies via ILL. Perhaps some type of partnership to make Caribbean Legislation more widely available might be an idea worth pursuing.

  3. CommonLII is a great step forward with wonderful potential. It doesn’t as yet do much to address the Caribbean situation beyond basics.