Oral Arguments on CourtListener!

Great news from our friends at CourtListener….

The CourtListener site is now adding oral arguments to the project,
and users can now search for oral
arguments and even get email alerts based on words in a case’s caption.

For more on this, see their exciting press release below from the Free Law Project:

“We’re very excited to announce that CourtListener is currently in the process of rolling out support for Oral Argument audio. This is a feature that we’ve wanted for at least four years — our name is CourtListener, after all — and one that will bring a raft of new features to the project. We already have about 500 oral arguments on the site, and we’ve got many more we’re we’ll be adding over the coming weeks.

For now we are getting oral argument audio in real time from ten federal appellate courts. As we get this audio, we are using it to power a number of features:

  • Oral Argument files become immediately available in our search results.
  • A podcast is automatically available for every jurisdiction we support and for any query that you can dream up. Want a custom podcast containing all of the 9th circuit arguments for a particular litigant? You got it.
  • You can now get alerts for oral arguments so you can be sure that you keep up with the latest coming out of the courts.
  • For developers, there are a number of new endpoints in both our REST API and our bulk data API for audio files.
  • Using the Free Law Seal Rookery, we are enhancing the audio we find on court websites by adding album art and better meta data.

For now, search results and alerts are limited to the data that is provided by court websites, so you cannot (yet) get alerted any time somebody says a certain word in court. Audio is a new area for us though and we’d absolutely love to automatically create transcripts for the courts, enabling such a feature. This would be an incredibly powerful feature, so if you are an expert on audio transcription, we’d love to hear from you and to work together on this.

Beyond all of the great features we’re rolling out today, oral argument data also marks an important turning point for the project because it lays the ground work for adding more types of data to CourtListener. It’s been a large undertaking adding a second type of data to the project, but adding a third will be much easier. Next in our hopper will likely be the content from RECAP so that you can create alerts, have powerful APIs, and do all the other things you expect from CourtListener, except this time, for documents from PACER.

We’re very excited about being able to provide oral argument data today and RECAP data tomorrow. We can’t wait to see what kinds of legal research and innovation these new features bring.”

UNRIC Backgrounders

The United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe Backgrounders are a great resource for locating UN documents and sites covering international law topics and selected countries
These guides provide links to treaties, UN resolutions, UN press releases, UN reports and UN Web sites. Many thanks to the UNRIC Library staff for posting these useful guides online.

UNRIC Library Backgrounders

http://www.unric.org/en/unric-library-backgrounders

Backgrounders are available for the following countries:
Afghanistan
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Gaza
Iraq
Kosovo
Libya
Mali
Myanmar
Somalia
South Sudan
Sudan/Darfur
Sri Lanka
Syria
Yemen

Backgrounders are available for the following topics:
Biodiversity
Climate Change
Desertification
Disability
Disarmament
Educational Resources
Food Waste
Forests
Genocide
Global Food Crisis
Human Rights
Human Rights Council
Middle East
Migration
Millennium Development Goals
Nuclear Disarmament
Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations
Peacebuilding Commission
Peacekeeping
Poverty
Protection of civilians in armed conflict
Racism
Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
Sustainable Development
Terrorism
Youth

Indian Legal Research Sites

A roundup of free Indian legal research resources:

Indian Kanoon

http://www.indiankanoon.org/

Full-text access to Supreme Court and state court case law.

Legal Information Institute of India

http://liiofindia.org/

part of wonderful WorldLII consortium and the Free Access to Law Movement.

India Legal Information Institute

http://www.indlii.org/

LegalSutra – Law Students’ Knowledge Base

http://legalsutra.org/

This site provides student generated class outlines and commentaries on specific legal issues.

LawKhoj

http://lawkhoj.com/

Indian legal search engine.

AdvocateKhoj Law Library

http://www.advocatekhoj.com/library/index.php

links to legislation, case law, legal conferences, information about Indian law schools, and attorney directories.

hat tip to Rob Richards and Anoop Vincent.

Article: Enabling Free On-line Access to UK Law Reports: The Copyright Problem

Enabling Free On-line Access to UK Law Reports: The Copyright Problem

Philip Leith and Cynthia Fellows

18 International Journal of Law & Information Technology   72 (Spring 2010)

Abstract

The history of publishing legal decisions (law reporting) in the UK has been that of a privatised system since its inception, and that history has encompassed several hundred years. The privatised nature of this has meant that the product (the law report) has been, except in limited cases, viewed as the property of the publisher, rather than the property of the court or public. BAILII is an open access legal database that came about in part because of the copyrighted, privatised nature of this legal information.

In this paper, we will outline the problem of access to pre-2000 judgments in the UK and consider whether there are legal or other remedies which might enable BAILII to both develop a richer historic database and also to work in harmony, rather than in competition, with legal publishers. We argue that public access to case law is an essential requirement in a democratic common law system, and that BAILII should be seen as a potential step towards a National Law Library.

Researching Chilean Law

Julienne Grant, FCIL librarian at Loyola University Chicago, has created a wonderful research guide to Chilean Law, in Libguide format. The guide concentrates on English language sources, but also includes many important Spanish language resources. The guide includes books, journals, databases, Web links, and translation resources.

Many thanks to Julienne for building this excellent useful tool.

Researching Chilean Law

http://lawlibguides.luc.edu/content.php?pid=85136

Text-to-Speech Translation

Google Translate and Bable Fish provide free machine translation of text from various languages. The Text-to-Speech Web site now allows you to hear how the text should be pronounced. Over two dozen languages are available. The Spanish options include Chilean, Mexican, Castilian and Argentine accents.   English options are American, Indian, Irish, Australian, Scottish, and South African. These are machine translations so the voices are a bit robotic.

Text-to-Speech Translation

Foreign Law Portal – InformáticaJurídica.com

InformáticaJurídica.com is a foreign law portal focusing mainly on Internet law, privacy, and intellectual property issues. It provides citations to statutes from hundreds of countries. It also posts selected full-text statutes and case law in the vernacular, principally from Latin American and European countries. The site also contains a bibliography of Spanish and English language secondary literature, a list of past and future conferences and meetings, and links (click on directorio).  Site navigation is entirely in Spanish.

InformáticaJurídica.com

http://www.informatica-juridica.com/

ILO Database: Use of International Law by Domestic Courts

Free online resource from the International Labour Organization:

Use of International Law by Domestic Courts

http://compendium.itcilo.org/

From the Web site’s description:

Use of International Law by Domestic Courts contains a compendium of court decisions in which domestic courts have relied on elements of international law to resolve the cases brought before them]. The compendium is composed mainly of cases falling within the province of labour law but also comprises decisions concerning basic human rights more generally. The decisions are presented in the form of summaries underlining how international law was used in each specific case. At the end of each summary, the full text of the decision is available in the original language.

Each decision is classified according to the following four sets of criteria:

country of origin of the decision

main subject on which international law was referred to

role of international law

type of international instruments used in the decision

Whenever the legal system of the countries included in the compendium stipulates how international law is to be incorporated into national law or the authority to be attributed to it, the decisions of the country in question are preceded by an insert citing the relevant provisions.

Decisions can be accessed through three indexes: by country, by subject and according to the role of international law.

And finally, the compendium is complemented by a library that contains: the texts of ILO Conventions and Recommendations, as well as the texts of other international instruments referred to in the compendium; the work and documents of the international supervisory bodies; and a selection of publications.

Online Publication:Human Rights and Climate Change

This month, the Commonwealth Secretariat published a short discussion paper on climate change and human rights. It is available online for free, although registration is required.

Human Rights and Climate Change: An Approach that Puts People in the Forefront of the Debate. July 2009

http://publications.thecommonwealth.org/

From the introduction:

A human rights model shifts the paradigm from

one that identifies ‘victims’ (who are most often

perceived as passive) to one acknowledging affected

groups as active stakeholders and critical voices.

Indeed, a rights-based approach frames the terms of

engagement and lays the basis for claims to be made

by ensuring affected populations are given the space

to speak, be heard, take action and influence

responses.

Perilous state of free resources: HuriDocs & HuriSearch

The extremely useful HuriSearch human rights search engine has placed the following annoucement on their home page:

As of 1 July, the costs of providing the present HuriSearch on the FAST-Microsoft platform increased with about 500%. Unfortunately, HURIDOCS cannot cover these costs. We are looking for alternative ways to set up a human rights search engine which will also be accessible through this page. 

Hurisearch is maintained by the Human Rights Information and Documentation System (HURIDOCS).

HuriSearch allows one to search for human rights publications and Web sites by language, country and organization. As of this morning (July 15th) the site was still working. It would be a shame to lose this resource since subject searching of international law is always troublesome. 

Hurisearch

http://www.hurisearch.org/