Olivier Charbonneau, doctoral candidate in law, associate librarian at Concordia University, blogger, and all-around legal information expert, has a post up on VoxPopuLII, the blog associated with Cornell’s Legal Information Institute. In “Collaboration and Open Access to Law,” Charbonneau talks about certain aspects of his research work on the way in which the public and legal documents interact with each other on the web.
In this post he gives only a few suggestions as to how we might improve this interaction and points us to his paper submitted at the Law via the Internet Conference in 2009 and to his master’s thesis for more. For instance, he suggests that it might be helpful if when users wanted to quote a patch of a judgment from a open access legal source they were offered (à la YouTube) a bit of code for embedding; this could then establish a dynamic link between the users’ web pages and the source, allowing for automatic updates or alerts on the one hand, and stats on use for the source provider on the other.
As Slaw readers may know, this sort of imaginative use of technology to improve legal documents interests me greatly. If you’re like me in this, you’ll want to have a look at Charbonneau’s work. But even if you can leave legal informatics alone, you should give this a glance, because it will give you a sense of what’s coming down the pike. Future technologies, like objects in the passenger-side mirror, are closer than they apear.