Author: Nick Holmes

Nick Holmes is Editor of this Newsletter. He is a publishing consultant specialising in the legal sector and is Managing Director of legal web services company infolaw Limited. Email nickholmes@infolaw.co.uk. Twitter @nickholmes.

The new Venables website

Delia Venables’ long-standing and, many would say, iconic Legal Resources website has been relaunched at www.venables.co.uk. First published in 1995 when the legal web was in its infancy, it has grown continually in scope and size and now contains several hundred pages of listings, describing tens of thousands of websites. It remains one of the […]

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The Newsletter way back

A snapshot of the type of content provided by the Newsletter in its early days is reproduced below from an old page on Delia’s site, retrieved courtesy of the Internet Archive’s WayBack Machine. It is notable that the range of topics covered is similar to today’s mix. The main difference is that the internet was […]

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Why blog?

Blogging is a simple, cheap, efficient, effective way to publish and update time-sensitive information, particularly in constantly-changing fields such as the law. Blogging puts in your hands publishing power even greater than that which was the preserve of only large, established publishers with fat wallets not so long ago. Content management, feed generation, subscriber management, […]

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The Internet, Warts and All

The Internet, Warts and All: Free Speech, Privacy and Truth by Paul Bernal is not a law book; it is a book about seeking to understand an environment – the internet – in which the law operates. It is a book about law, but “It is also … about technology, about politics, about psychology, about […]

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Transforming access to justice

HM Courts and Tribunals Service held a public event on 6 November, inviting those who represent public court users to see first-hand the progress made over the last year with the court reform program. One such representative was Roger Smith who has reported back, generally positively, on his Law, Technology & Acees to Justice blog. […]

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CPD and continuing competence for 2018 – do it online now!

We can (again) help you complete your continuing competence requirements this year. Our Internet for Lawyers CPD 2018 competence service guides you, via online articles and exercises, through the legal resources and tools available, helps you understand the internet and the legal issues it raises and assists you in the practical application of internet services […]

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Open data: free to use and republish

In the last issue we looked at the concept of open law; we should probably now take a step back and consider what is meant by open data.

Open data is the idea that some data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or similar. The philosophy behind it is long established, but the term “open data” itself was more recently coined. It appeared for the first time in 1995, in a document from an American scientific agency, and it gained traction with the rise of the internet and the web as the platform enabling its effective delivery.

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Publications and blogs

The Internet, Warts and All: Free Speech, Privacy and Truth, by Paul Bernal, Senior Lecturer in Information Technology, Intellectual Property and Media Law at the University of East Anglia, seeks to explain the internet information ecosystem, busting myths, pointing out why attempts at regulation have failed and suggesting the way forward. Published by Cambridge University […]

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Legal ebooks: who needs them?

Back in November 2012, I described in the Newsletter how, since ebooks had hit the big time, the law publishers had enthusiastically responded. Where are we now?

In terms of the general picture, ebook sales have recently plateaued, though reports of its demise are premature. According to Simon Rowberry, writing in The Bookseller: “On the surface, the narrative of the ebook’s demise may appeal to bibliophiles who cherish print – but the reality behind ebooks’ recent plateau is more complex”.

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Legislation.gov.uk: finally up to date?

Most types of primary legislation (eg Acts, Measures, NI Orders in Council) on legislation.gov.uk are intended to be held in “revised” form, meaning that amendments made by subsequent legislation are incorporated into the text. Most types of secondary legislation are not revised and are held only in the form in which they were originally made.

A central criticism of legislation.gov.uk in the past has been that much primary legislation is not in fact up to date, in some cases lagging several years behind amending instruments. However, recent efforts have turned this situation around.

Legislation.gov.uk is now in the final stages of a programme to bring all the revised legislation fully up to date. Except for a few special cases that require extra work (such as the Taxes Management Act 1970), the backlog of outstanding effects will have been cleared and the revised legislation brought up to date by the end of 2018.

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Open law: digital common property

Open law is the idea that public legal information should be freely available to everyone to access, use and republish. The current position in the UK differs completely as between legislation and case law.

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The role of technology in legal advice and assistance

This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch December 2017. Legal Web Watch is a free email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.

Two recent reports consider in some detail the application of technology in delivering legal advice and assistance, viewed through different prisms. Both are, I think, essential reading if you are at all interested in legal tech as we are in danger of being swept away by the hype surrounding leading edge AI and blockchain developments at the top end of the market.

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