At the end of March 2019 Justis was acquired by vLex, a legal technology company founded in Barcelona with offices across the world. While we are at the beginning stages of planning what this means for both JustisOne and the vLex platform, we are able to speculate as to how Justis, a vLex company, might look.

Since the launch of JustisOne in 2017, we have been continuing to enhance the range of features available to our users. Most recently, we have been updating our Browse feature and adding Alerting to enable our users to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in areas of law that are relevant to them. Alongside this, we have increased the range of content on the platform, with the launch of the Human Rights collection.

These developments are covered in detail below.

Opportunities as part of vLex

Following the acquisition of Justis by vLex, we have been exploring the potential that our joint technologies together can bring to legal information, for both greater insights and more efficient research. This is something that we are very excited about as vLex is a company who share our ethos of using technology to increase the availability and accessibility of legal information.

The case law collection from Justis covers over 25 common law jurisdictions, including the largest collections of UK, Ireland and Caribbean judgments, alongside extensive coverage from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the EU. With the content offered by vLex covering a range of both common and civil law jurisdictions, including comprehensive coverage from the United States of America, India, Spain and South America, alongside extensive coverage from continental Europe, there is a lot of potential for enabling existing Justis and vLex users to conduct more comprehensive cross-jurisdictional research and find binding and persuasive cases from jurisdictions outside of their own.

Alongside this range of content, Justis and vLex both prioritise the development of advanced search and analysis tools. One example of this is the Justis Precedent Map, a powerful visualisation tool which enables practitioners to explore the network of relationships and treatments between cases efficiently. At the end of last year, vLex introduced Vincent, an AI-powered intelligent legal research assistant built on top of their Iceberg AI platform which can analyse legal documents and suggests relevant results from vLex’s extensive libraries that relate to that document. This is built on their Iceberg AI Platform, which is a cloud-based service for enterprise clients to apply to their own data. Iceberg AI can operate end-to-end, allowing clients to import, crawl and connect data sources, enrich and combine datasets with machine learning modules, rules-based automations and human workflows, to generate exponential value that transforms products and entire organisations.

This acquisition is the first step in bringing together the knowledge and experience behind these powerful tools. The coming months will be exciting as we explore how our technologies and content can work together to enable legal practitioners to conduct more thorough and efficient legal research.

New JustisOne features and content

As well as planning in the wake of the acquisition, we have been continuing to enhance the range of features to growing the content available on JustisOne.

Alerting

We realise how important it is for legal practitioners across the world to be aware of recent developments in the areas of law they practice, especially if it may impact on cases they are in the midst of preparing. Therefore, February saw the launch of JustisOne Alerting, which enables our users to be made instantly aware of any new cases added to JustisOne.

There are three different types of alert which can be enabled in JustisOne, with increasing levels of specificity. The broadest of these are alerts based on jurisdiction, relating to the core products that Justis offer, which will generate an email with any new cases added to that collection. More specific alerts can be created by selecting which courts the user is interested in within those jurisdictions. Finally, alerts can be created from any search in JustisOne, no matter how specific. This means an alert can be fully tailored, from a search for categories relating to an area of law to a complex search involving categories, jurisdictions, courts and key terms. This flexible way of creating alerts is a powerful way to stay up to date with highly relevant content.

Browse

While Browse has been a heavily used feature of JustisOne since it was added to the service in 2017, working to develop the new Justis Legal Graph database has enabled us to improve this feature. Browse now enables our users to explore more than just cases, categories and areas of law.

After an initial selection of Cases, Statutes, Statutory Instruments or EU law, Browse can now be used to narrow down material step-by-step by jurisdiction, categories, courts, years or reported series.

Browse also now contains live document numbers, so users can see how many results their search will return before deciding to complete it. This ability to explore our content in new ways means that Browse can now be used to pre-filter a search to the desired specificity across a combination of fields, before further filtering and refining a search if necessary.

EU

Alongside new and improved features, we have also been working to increase the content available on JustisOne. In the summer of 2018 we added the complete collection of EU content, containing over 170,000 EU legislative provisions, over 10,000 national agreements, over 53,000 cases from the Official Journal C series and much more, including Treaties, Complementary Legislation, Preparatory Acts and Working Documents, Jurisprudence, National Transposition Measures, National Case Law, and Parliamentary Questions.

Adding this content to JustisOne was the culmination of a process which saw preparations specifically for EU data, to ensure that it is easier to access, search and read than on any other platform. An EU tab was added to JustisOne’s Advanced Search, with a fully customisable form which enables users to select from over 40 fields to create a form tailored to their search needs.

Utilising the two-panel display in JustisOne, keywords, subject matters and other important information is clearly displayed to save practitioners time searching for this information within the document itself, offering a user-friendly approach to using EU law.

Human rights

In late 2018 we added the Human Rights collection to JustisOne, which contains comprehensive case law coverage of the European Court of Human Rights from 1960. This important collection is vital for anyone who practices Human Rights law, especially as the UK will continue to be subject to the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights after Brexit.

Accessing this collection on JustisOne enables users to apply the full range of search and analysis tools for their research. This enables researchers to explore the cases that their case is citing, and those that have subsequently cited their own case, as well as automatically seeing what type of treatment it received. They can also highlight all subsequently cited passages, with a heat-map showing which sections have been cited the most frequently, calling attention to the key arguments in a case. The cases in this collection are also categorised using Justis’ extensive legal taxonomy, which assists practitioners in finding the cases which are most relevant to the matter at hand.

The future

While it is in the early stages, and we cannot yet say how the features of JustisOne and the vLex platform might be combined to allow for even greater insights into the range of legal information offered on both platforms, work is under way to bring Justis and vLex closer together.

In the coming months Justis will be attending conferences around the world. Come and see us if you can to learn more about the latest news from Justis.

David Hand is a Marketing & Communications Analyst at Justis Publishing. Justis is now part of legal technology company vLex. Email David.Hand@justis.com. Twitter @Justisvlex.

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