Accessing and Reusing Copyright Government Records

Accessing and Reusing Copyright Government Records

John Gilchrist

10 Law and Justice Journal 213 (2010)

Full text available at:

http://www.law.qut.edu.au/files/4.Access_and_Reuse_GILCHRIST_3.pdf

Abstract

The common policy objectives in modern liberal democracies of promoting open and accountable government and of preserving national culture and heritage are reflected in the provision of access to, and the preservation of unpublished and published works held by government. A wide spectrum of social enquiry is in whole or in part dependent on these government preserved holdings.

The policy objectives in Australia are manifested in two ways. One is in government archival practices and laws. The other is in the Australian Copyright Act 1968 facilitating access to, and the preservation of, unpublished and published works held by archives and libraries. While preservation of these works and the costs associated with it are in themselves a recognition of the public interest in accessing works held by archives and libraries, existing laws and practices facilitating access should be reviewed in light of technological changes in way we access, create and communicate works and in light of further moves towards openness in government.

This article outlines present archival practices and laws in Australia, and the scope of Copyright Act provisions,  before turning to reform. The focus will be on the Australian federal sphere.

Indigenous Rights Case Law Database from CEPMLP

Court Interpretation of Indigenous Agreements: Database

The Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) – University of Dundee (Scotland)

http://www.dundee.ac.uk/cepmlp/mining/indigenous/

From the database description:

This database has been compiled from over 200 cases and articles from courts/tribunals in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America. The decisions collated for the database are those that interpret or apply documents involving indigenous parties. The database records, for each decision:

  • a brief summary of the decision (including URL where available);
  • the details of the document(s) involving indigenous parties; and
  • a summary of the court’s/tribunal’s engagement with that document.

The database’s search function allows users to focus and find decisions and articles according to particular need. For example, if researching the relevance of fiduciary obligations in relation to indigenous agreements, the database allows quick collation of all materials relevant to that.

 

 

 

 

 

Article: The Use of Foreign Decision by Constitutional Courts – A Comparative Analysis

SSRN has posted an article on the use of foreign law by constitutional and supreme courts. The author looks at the use of foreign law in constitutional law cases by courts in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, South Africa,  and Switzerland. The article is only available in Spanish.

The Use of Foreign Decision by Constitutional Courts – A Comparative Analysis

Rodrigo Brito Melgarejo

In Dret, Volume 2 (2010)

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1639031

http://www.indret.com/pdf/720_es.pdf

Abstract:

Despite the relevance of comparative law in constitutional adjudication has repeatedly been at the center of heated debates, in recent years, an increasingly transnational constitutional dialogue between justices has developed in many countries. Some members of a large number of constitutional courts have embraced the possibility of considering the constitutional decisions of other nation’s courts because the potential benefits of comparative constitutional learning are many. Considering other national court decisions or explaining disagreements with them, for example, may stimulate judges to rethink principles or priorities in ways that alter their own constitutional perspective and to find new valuable arguments that renew its own stock of constitutional ideas.

This paper aims at analyzing the way some constitutional courts are using foreign decisions in constitutional interpretation and tries to demonstrate that comparative constitutional reasoning tends every day more vigorously to universality.

Article: The Common Law and the Constitution as Protectors of Rights in Australia

Interesting article comparing fundamental rights, judicial review, and  parliamentary supremacy in Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Britain.

The Common Law and the Constitution as Protectors of Rights in Australia

Anthony Gray (University of Southern Queensland)

39 Common Law World Review 119 (2010)

Available online via LexisNexis.

Practitioner’s Guide to International Law

The Young Lawyers Section of the Law Society of New South Wales (Australia) has posted online the full-text of their  “Practitioner’s Guide to International Law.” The book includes chapters on the United Nations, WTO & Trade, international environmental law, protection of cultural property, conflict of laws, and international litigation before Australian courts.

Practitioner’s Guide to International Law

http://www.lawsociety.com.au/idc/groups/public/documents/internetyounglawyers/065481.pdf

Fee Fie Foe Firm: law firm search engine

Many thanks to our colleagues in Australia and Malaysia for pointing out Fee Fie Foe Firm, a specialized search engine that indexes law firm Web sites. Separate search engines exist for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the U.S. The search engines include law firm attorney profiles as well as law firm publications.  

Fee Fie Foe Firm Australia  http://www.feefiefoefirm.com/au/

Fee Fie Foe Firm UK
http://www.feefiefoefirm.com/uk/

Fee Fie Foe Firm US
http://www.feefiefoefirm.com/

Fee Fie Foe Firm NZ
http://www.feefiefoefirm.com/nz/
Fee Fie Foe Firm Canada
http://www.feefiefoefirm.com/ca/

OpenAustralia.org goes live

Our alumnus Matt Asay’s blog The Open Road is a blog that matters to us and yesterday he added an item of special interest:  Open Sourcing Australia:  OpenAustralia.org goes live.

It seems reasonable to suggest that no nation should cede its sovereignty to any private, commercial interest. . . .

. . .

Larry Lessig argues that “code is law,” meaning that the very software we use to construct the Internet, intranets, etc. has a powerful effect on what is actually possible through these communication media.. . .

It is therefore important that Australia opted for open-source software in capturing the mind and history of its parliament. This is what sovereign nations do. Or, at least, it’s what they should do.

 

I just took a look at the Australian site.  It is a model.  I was impressed by everything and thought that this current awareness service was especially impressive:

Sign up to be emailed when something relevant to you happens in Parliament