Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Grey Literature Week at, the co-operative weblog about Canadian legal research and IT, has been holding a theme week with posts from numerous contributors on the identification, collection and dissemination of grey literature in the field of law.

One of the posts provides a standard international definition of grey literature:

"Information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing, i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body."

In my view, this should include one major source of research about the law, namely the reports of law reform institutes.

The Diana M. Priestly Law Library at the University of Victoria in British Columbia has a page of links to law reform commissions in various countries. The University of Calgary Law Library provides a slightly different list.

Among the finding tools are:
  • The British Columbia Law Institute has created a searchable law reform database that indexes over 7000 law reform materials from common law jurisdictions around the world
  • The WorldLII Law Reform Project "aims to make searchable from one location all of the databases specialising in Law Reform available on any of the Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) that are part of WorldLII". The databases currently included are the law commissions of Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Papua New Guinea and England
  • The World Law Reform Collection Jurisdiction and Subject Index from Manas Media is an index to law reform commission publications searchable by keywords, jurisdiction and date. This collection contains references to thousands of titles from 37 jurisdictions indexed by 6 major categories and 61 subcategories. Full text of most titles published after 1999 is available in PDF format to subscribing libraries. Earlier titles are on microfiche
For historical background, Justice Canada's International Cooperation Group published a study on law reform agencies a few years ago. The study comes with an extensive bibliography.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:51 pm


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