If you’ve ever tried to search Hansard, the federal government’s written record of every parliamentary debate, you know that even though it’s been digital for a long time, historical records were notoriously difficult to review. That’s because when Canadiana digitized it, it was as pictures and not text. A University of Toronto team of political scientists, computer scientists and historians decided to do something about it.
In 2013, [Christopher] Cochrane teamed up with two postdoctoral researchers, two PhD students and Graeme Hirst, professor of computer science at U of T Scarborough, to create LiPaD: The Linked Parliamentary Data Project.
LiPaD has digitized and made searchable Canada’s parliamentary debates dating back to 1901. It also created and designed a website to make the documents more accessible to the public, a project headed by PhD student Tanya Whyte.
A huge thank you and congratulations to this team for making this part of Canada’s legislative record available to everyone.
As information professionals, we are specialists in finding answers. But we also love to share our methods with everyone. One way to do this is by creating guides and tutorials on how to do what to us, are simple tasks, but to others, may be a challenge. The first guide we’ve created is on how to know when there are new Manitoba decisions on CanLII.
Manitoba’s courts have been distributing their decisions for free on CanLII since the turn of the century. Currently, we distribute the decisions to the legal publishers the day we receive them. CanLII usually has them available online within 24 hours.
Our guide, created by Allyssa McFadyen, demonstrates how to set up an alert in your calendar program to remind you to check CanLII for new results, or how to set up an RSS feed to be notified when new content has been published. Once these systems are set up, it is a simple matter to stay on top of new caselaw.
We plan to publish additional guides in the future, on such topics as how to search Hansard (Manitoba edition), and how to use our catalogue. If you have suggestions for research methods you would like explained, please let us know. Check our page, Legal Ease, for new content. It happens to be RSS-ready.
Further to our previous post on current awareness, we’d like to offer distribution of the following newsletters on criminal law:
Milligan’s Criminal Law Advisor (monthly)
Police Powers Newsletter (monthly)
Mack’s Criminal Law Bulletin (biweekly)
Segal’s Motor Vehicle and Impaired Driving Newsletter (biweekly)
Watt’s Criminal Law and Evidence Newsletter (biweekly)
Alan D. Gold’s Criminal Law Netletter (weekly)
Impaired Driving Netletter (bimonthly)
If you’re interested in receiving any or all of these newsletters, please email email@example.com so we can add you to our distribution list. Please note that you must be a member of the Law Society of Manitoba in order to receive this service.