Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Finding Unreported Oral Court Decisions

Susannah Tredwell has written a post on Slaw.ca on Unreported Decisions: A New Challenge on the difficulties of tracking down oral decisions:
"However I would propose that there is a new category of “unreported decision”: those judgments that the courts do not make easily available. Although they cannot be easily obtained online they are still cited in court judgments or in secondary materials, and as a result lawyers expect to be able to find them."

"Oral decisions often fall into this category; for example, in British Columbia even if an oral decision is transcribed, the judge or master involved has the final say over whether it is added to the website. If consent is not given, the decision will not be made available."

"In Ontario, all court decisions are automatically assigned a neutral citation. However the existence of this neutral citation does not mean that the decision has been published in CanLII. The only way for a librarian to distinguish between the two types of decisions is by putting the neutral citation into a database and seeing if anything comes up."

"So how do you find this kind of unreported decision? The two most effective ways are contacting the registry or contacting one of the lawyers involved, although neither technique is foolproof."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:05 pm

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