Shaunna Mireau on Canadian Legal Research

Tips on Canadian legal research from the Library at Field LLP.
Postings are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the firm.

September 11, 2009

Oh Twitter, my Twitter

Twitter is NOT my Captain, and it is also not lying dead on the deck of this particular ship. I have always found Whitman's poem stirring and its rhythms seem to come to me whenever I am of two minds about something. On one hand, Twitter is becoming extremely valuable for filtering, but especially for identifying delicious bits of useful data (no, not, that is another story).

For instance, several years ago I was asked if there was some kind of judges training manual. This was not a facetious question, or anything that came out of a percieved 'bad' decision, just curiosity. Today, among the many blips that floated across my screen was this via Twitter:
CanLawMagCan. Judicial Council releases manual for appellate court judges. Could be some interesting reading.
Twitter has proven very useful over the past few months for in the moment delivery of those "wow, I am glad I saw it" tidbits. Is it useful because I follow a few reliable sources? Would I glean this info some other way if I didn't monitor Tweets? Is it the timeliness that is the value, or the serendipity that shows interesting items among my community of practice on Twitter that happen to coincide with current thoughts/problems/issues we all have?

The question now is, what amount of time should I devote to monitoring instant media.

I am still thinking about these time+value issues. Any insight in the comments would be appreciated. Or follow me on Twitter and share your thoughts @smireau

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September 02, 2009

Good news for legislation researchers

Good news is coming from all over!

Alberta - the folks at the clerks office at the Legislative Assembly responded to a data need (AB bills no longer on LNQL as of April 1, 2009) by adding copies of historical bills. See my ELLA blog post for specifics, but here is a link:
and follow the Bills from Previous Sessions link.

And From the CanLII blog:
Wednesday, September 2 2009

Additions to point-in-time legislative databases

Today CanLII launches point-in-time legislation databases for three provinces: Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.
Users of these provinces' consolidated Acts and regulations now have access to versions as they came into force since 2004 or so, as well as to current versions updated weekly from governments' websites.

Only about six months after having launched its new legislation publication system, CanLII now publishes point-in-time legislation for the Federal level as well as for all Canadian provinces. Legislation from the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut is currently being prepared and will be migrated to the new system by the end of September.