Recent online developments from Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis.
The Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is edited by Nick Holmes
Articles filed under Law publishers
The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) has as its central remit the promotion and facilitation of research and scholarship at an advanced level across the whole field of law. Though based in central London and attached to the University of London, IALS draws its primary membership from academic researchers and postgraduate research students from other institutions throughout the UK, and provides services to researchers in the wider legal community.
IALS has been involved in innovative online legal information delivery for many years, developing and promoting public access to materials on the web through the creation of a wide range of e-resources, digitisation and collaborative ventures. The arm of the Institute actively involved in this field has recently been renamed IALS Digital. Through the ongoing work of IALS Digital, the Institute is committed to extending the reach of digital provision of legal information by delivering specialist legal research tools and niche web services – maximising access to key or hard-to-find information to facilitate legal research, public understanding, and the promotion of justice and the rule of law.
Some of IALS Digital’s recent initiatives are highlighted below, along with several of its more well-established research tools. All of the resources are freely available at ials.sas.ac.uk/digital.
Several online publishers describe recent developments in their services for lawyers. News from ICLR, Justis, Bloomsbury Law and 1COR.
At a time when some other publishers are struggling to make the case for their law reports, ICLR is embarking on a massive expansion of its coverage. In a brace of new developments for 2016, we have begun publishing unreported transcripts on ICLR Online, and we will be expanding the leading general series, the Weekly Law Reports (WLR) with hundreds of extra cases each year.
The fact that these extra reports will appear only online has caused anxiety for some, particularly law librarians, and an explanation of our rationale may be helpful.
The legal professions, however unwillingly, and indeed the English legal system itself, are undergoing profound changes. Law reporting is bound to adapt.
The range and type of information which needs to be published is changing. The model of a carefully curated selection of momentous precedents – cases which marked out a path of stepping stones in the development of the law – though still valuable, is no longer enough in an age of online aggregation and Big Data analytics.
Lawyers and students need cases for a variety of reasons, not just to witness a change in law. And, in electronic form, the storage and retrieval of vast hoards of information is both easy and cheap. This obviates the need and to some extent the rationale for only selecting and preserving the most important cases.
But is there still merit in the idea of selection, or at any rate some sort of evaluation system for judgments? And how else can a publisher of legal information add value in the digital age?
“Headnotes reign supreme when it comes to digesting cases because they tell you what happened and what the result was. They give you the facts,” a London-based barrister said to me last year.
A true and succinct assessment – just like a headnote. In the digital age where there’s so much case law online and, in turn, so much that potentially needs to be read, a headnote is just what you need. Are they enough, though?
BAILII has been providing free access to case law for 14 years and legislation.gov.uk provides advanced (if not yet up to date) open access to all in force legislation. These resources have changed the ground rules for law publishing: smaller publishers are relying on them, adding their own value and developing new update services. We asked several independent publishers to describe their services and comment on the free primary sources.
In the ever-changing scene, including the impact of the internet and websites, as well as the relaxation of professional regulation on advertising, we have had to adapt continuously to a changing culture and to make use of new technologies to ensure that Havers Directory provides useful and effective means for barristers to make themselves known and accessible.
CaseCheck intends to compete with some of the largest publishers in the world, such as LexisNexis and Westlaw, with a new premium version early in 2013.
Cecile Park Publishing started in 1999 to provide global, authoritative and incisive legal and regulatory information solutions in fast growing business areas.. Our products and services have expanded to new areas including data protection, e-commerce, e-finance, sport and gambling law and we have grasped the opportunity to combine high value information with technological developments to deliver information efficiently via multiple platforms.
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