Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Petition to Re-Instate the Ontario E-Laws Detailed Legislative History Tables

Annette Demers, Law Librarian at the University of Windsor and former president of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, has prepared a letter and petition to the Ontario Minister of Justice asking that the Detailed Legislative History Tables be maintained on the government's E-Laws website.

E-Laws is the Ontario government's official legislation website. When it was migrated to a new platform, the decision was taken to discontinue producing the Tables which provide essential information about legislative amendments and coming into force provisions.

As the letter explains:
"As advanced users of legal information, who conduct research on behalf of lawyers, judges, law professors and students, and as teachers of the next generation of lawyers, we are opposed to the discontinuation of this research tool, particularly insofar as an alternative has not yet been devised."

"No technology upgrade should result in a loss of functionality ‐ upgrades should achieve the goal of maintaining and enhancing existing functionality. This project should not have went live until a suitable solution was devised, and after appropriate consultation with stakeholders. "

"If an alternative is devised in one year, this is one full year of legislative activity which will not have been tabulated. The longer it takes to devise a strategy, the more the tracking of amendments is aggregated, creating a larger problem requiring more and more resources to remedy in time. The outcome may surely be an entire timeframe where there is no tool to assist researchers."
Please circulate this petition widely. Demers hopes to deliver it to the Ontario Ministry of Justice by June 15.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:36 pm


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