Wednesday, December 03, 2008

More on Free Access to English Reports 1220-1873

This is an update to yesterday's Library Boy post entitled English Reports 1220-1873 Now Free Online.

Today, I received an e-mail update about the decision to make the entire collection of English Reports available for free on CommonLII (Commonwealth Legal Information Institute).

The e-mail was posted on an international law librarians listserv by Professor Graham Greenleaf, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales and Co-Director, Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII):

"The Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) is very pleased to announce that last night (1 December) Justice Michael Kirby of Australia's High Court launched a new service, free access to the English Reports 1220-1873 ."

"The English Reports are located on the Commonwealth Legal Information Institute (CommonLII). The data has kindly been provided by Justis as part of its cooperation with AustLII in an Australian Research Council Linkage grant. "

"The English Reports database contains 124,882 cases from 1220-1873."

"The full text of the Reports are searchable, using AustLII's SINO search engine. Users are then provided with the original image of a case when it appears in the search results, sorted in likely order of relevance (date ranking may also be used). The cases are may also be browsed by year or alphabetically."

"The English Reports are searchable either as a separate database or in combination with all of the other databases from common law jurisdictions available via CommonLII (in cooperation with other legal information institutes in the Free Access to Law Movement)."

"All reports have been given an additional citation of the style '[1869] EngR 69' in addition to their original ER and nominate reports citations."

"The English Reports have not previously been available for free online access."

"At the launch, Justice Kirby spoke eloquently of the continuing relevance of the English Reports to today's law, mentioning numerous recent High Court decisions where reasoning found in the English Reports was important. Mr Masoud Gerami, Director of Justis, the suppliers of the digitised copies, spoke (by video) of the value of cooperation between commercial and free access publishers. Ms Shirani de Fontgalland, Head of the Criminal Law Section of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, welcomed the addition of the English Reports to CommonLII on behalf of the Secretariat."


"To see how the English Reports effect general common law searches, just search from the front page of CommonLII
for anything concerning, say, one of the forms of action (eg 'detinue near (ship or vessel)'), then display the results By Database."

"The new service was developed as part of an Australian Research Council Linkage grant concerning improvements to online case law involving seven industry partners including four courts and tribunals and two legal publishers ..."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:06 pm


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