By Alisa Lazear
Since last spring, a great number of updates and resources have been added to CanLII. To make sure you’re up to date on recent developments, here’s more about what’s new on CanLII.
⚖️ Primary Law
Beginning with the addition of the decisions from DLRs in 2016, CanLII continues to do historical scanning projects to increase the scope of our caselaw collection. Here are the results of some of those projects over the past year:
● Thanks to the Law Foundation of New Brunswick, we now have primary law covering 50 years for the province of New Brunswick. The annual statutes database now goes back to the Revised Statutes of New Brunswick of 1973. We also added 7,000 decisions published in the New Brunswick Reports between 1969 and 2016 that were missing from CanLII and that have been cited in the CanLII database.
● Over 8,000 cases from the Western Weekly Reports (WWR) were added to CanLII last Spring, bringing in a collection of significant cases from courts in the western provinces.
● We also added over 9,500 decisions from the Manitoba Reports as part of a project funded by the Manitoba Law Foundation.
● Last fall, we also announced that we had added the annual statutes for Alberta, from 1906 to present as part of a project funded by the Alberta Law Foundation.
We are grateful for all the support we have received to continue to improve the availability of primary law!
Many developments have been happening in this area for CanLII. CanLII’s commentary section continues to grow with resources written by authors from various backgrounds. Since the launch of the CanLII Author’s Program, we have received submissions from lawyers, legal scholars, and graduate students in law, who see the value in open legal commentary. Have a look at the new layout of our CanLII Authors Program page to learn more, or you can explore what’s already on CanLII here. To help you find the commentary you need, an additional filter feature was added to CanLII to search commentary by subject area.
Thanks to the County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA), we have started offering access to conference proceedings in addition to law reviews, books, articles, newsletters, and reports. Read on to learn more about recent updates to commentary that have been added to CanLII.
Below is a list of journals added since last spring. You can see the full list of journals on our website here.
- Asper Review of International Business and Trade Law
- Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal
- Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal
- Dalhousie Law Journal
- Journal of Commonwealth Law
- Journal of Law & Equality
- Lakehead Law Journal
- Laws | An Open Access Journal from MDPI
- Les Cahiers de droit
- Osgoode Hall Law Journal
- Revue de Droit de l'Université de Montréal
- Revue québécoise de droit international
- Saskatchewan Law Review
- Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues
The Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues, run by law students at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, recently decided to shift to an Open Access publishing model. We were very pleased to be invited to their Open Access launch event to celebrate this milestone and are happy that they chose to include their work on the CanLII platform.
We are also grateful to the number of university presses that have published legal scholarship under Creative Commons (CC) licenses, allowing platforms like CanLII to share this content with a wide audience. We encourage content creators to follow the lead of these university presses and consider whether making public legal scholarship openly accessible through avenues like Creative Commons licensing is right for them.
Last November, we announced a new collaboration with Slaw.ca. Based on CanLII search queries, Slaw.ca stood out as a centre of writing covering legal topics of interest to CanLII users. We then published a collection of ebooks of selected content from Slaw.ca in CanLII’s commentary section.
You can search through CanLII’s entire book collection here, which includes new additions such as JP Boyd on Family Law and the latest update of the eText on Wrongful Dismissal by Lancaster House.
Reports and papers from several other organizations
Since our last update, a number of additional organizations have shared their reports and papers with us:
- Alberta Law Reform Institute
- Canadian Centre for Elder Law (a division of BC Law Institute)
- Canadian Conference on Personal Property Security Law
- Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
- Canadian Human Rights Commission
- Environmental Law Centre of Alberta
- Government of the Northwest Territories – Department of Justice
- Justice & Law Reform Institute of Nova Scotia
- Law Reform Commission of British Columbia
- Vanier Institute of the Family
Last spring, we were pleased to announce the completion of the integration of CanLII Connects entries into search results on CanLII.org. When you conduct a search on CanLII, you are able to get results of content from CanLII Connects. Now, this important source of case commentary is more findable and better integrated through tools like CanLII’s note up feature than before.
We are grateful to the writers on CanLII Connects who make it faster and easier for legal professionals and the public to access high-quality legal commentary on Canadian court decisions. If you have professional competence in legal analysis and would like to join CanLII Connects to share your insights, we encourage you to register here.
If you have been spending time on CanLII since last spring, you will probably have noticed that CanLII underwent a website refresh. Thanks to the feedback from our users and the help of the Lexum team, we got a new look to help improve your CanLII experience.
More recently, we’ve come up with some new features for conducting efficient legal research that include decision highlights, paragraph-level note-ups, and “decision intensity” indicators represented by blue jalapenos.
Thanks to a motivated working group formed through the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, we have received instructional materials in the form of videos and handouts to assist users on how to use CanLII. You can find these helpful resources in the footer menu on the CanLII site under “CanLII Guides.”
Earlier this month, CanLII was thrilled to announce the winner for the inaugural Martin Felsky Award, a contest celebrating excellence in Canadian open legal commentary on the subjects of legal research and legal technology. This year’s award went to Lee-Ann Conrod for her article titled “Smart Devices in Criminal Investigations: How Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Can Better Protect Privacy in the Search of Technology and Seizure of Information”, originally published in the University of Victoria Faculty of Law student-run and open access journal APPEAL: Review Of Current Law And Law Reform.
We are also happy to welcome Anqi Shen, CanLII’s Community Manager. Anqi has been helping us build engagement through CanLII’s social media and blog since last fall. Her skill and experience have proven to be a great asset to CanLII and we’re excited to continue working with her this year.
The updates don’t end here! Make sure to follow our newly redesigned blog for the latest CanLII news.