BAILII is involved in several ongoing projects to supplement and broaden its existing collections.

We believe that projects such as these will benefit the legal community on several levels and make a valuable contribution to facilitating further research initiatives in the UK and overseas in the areas of Commonwealth legal and cultural development and additionally extend the scope of wider open access to legal information.

Following are details of the most recent projects.

Privy Council Decisions case papers

In 2010/2011 a collection of judgment texts from the Committee’s Library in Downing Street was scanned and included in the BAILII Privy Council Decisions database. A special collection of rare related records and documents is held by IALS in paper only. These texts are far more detailed than the 8,000 reported decisions. They include the case for the appellant and the case for the respondent prepared by their solicitors and records of pleadings and prior court proceedings.

Thanks to an award from the School of Advanced Study’s Strategic Development Fund, IALS has been able to digitise many of the additional case papers it holds relating to historic Judicial Committee of the Privy Council decisions. Over 5,000 searchable PDFs have been created, involving more than 317,000 page scans.

This is a collection of case papers from 1935–1985 and some selected papers from earlier judgments of special interest to researchers have been included in the project.

The digitised papers (judgment, case for the appellant, case for the respondent, record of proceedings, factums and appendices) are now available as searchable PDF files alongside the judgment texts on BAILII Privy Council Decisions.

Historic Scottish Law Reports

BAILII’s database of Historic Scottish Law Reports is currently made up of reported Decisions of the Court of Session) 1540–1808 (although some reports of cases go back further), reported House of Lords (Scotland) Decisions 1709–1873 and Jury Court Reports 1815–1830.

The text from each of these law report series was provided by The Scottish Council of Law Reporting and the upload of cases was completed in January.

Tax Cases

BAILII is currently working on publishing most of the 76 volumes of the Tax Cases 1875–2004. These reports will be distributed to the relevant existing BAILII database. So far we have done all of the House of Lords cases. As an example see Coomber (Surveyor of Taxes) v Berkshire Justices [1883] UKHL TC_2_1.

ICLR historic cases

ICLR has donated 40 of the Law Reports which their users voted as the most significant cases of its first 150 years from 1865 to 2014. You may come across these reports while using BAILII but a list of links to the 40 cases can be found here: http://bit.ly/1ry0mA1.

Joe Ury is Executive Director of BAILII. Email joe.ury@sas.ac.uk.

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