I recently polled some of the larger Toronto law firm law libraries regarding their holdings and use of Halsbury’s Laws of England (and the recently published Halsbury’s Laws of Canada).
Readers of SLAW might be interested to know:
Halsbury’s Canadian Converter
Only 3 of 16 law libraries continue to subscribe to the (green) “Canadian converter” volumes for the (old) 3rd edition (and two of those law libraries were likely to cancel). Although many thought it was a useful service, almost all responding noted that it was rarely used (and difficult to use since it was necessary to “translate” the 3rd edition paragraph numbers to the 4th edition paragraph numbers). In addition, it is reasonable to surmise that the Canadian converter will “die a natural death” once Halsbury’s Laws of Canada has been fully published when there will less (or no) need for a Canadian converter.
Halsbury’s Laws of England (4th ed.) in print / online
Only 2 of 16 law libraries continue to subscribe to the print version of the (brown) 4th edition (although one library regretted cancelling). But 11 of 16 libraries moved to the online Internet version. Most noted that the 4th edition has the disadvantage of being more legislation and EU-based than the (green) 3rd edition which tended to have more case (common) law. One library regrets subscribing to the online version.
Halsbury’s Laws of Canada
So far, 11 of 16 law libraries have taken a subscription to the first three volumes of Halsbury’s Laws of Canada and most think they will take the entire set. One of the libraries not subscribing said “absolutely not!” and most expressed concern over the difficult in finding shelf-space for the set and suggesting they would have preferred an electronic only version. However, may comments were supportive of this new initiative.