“The perennial make-PACER-free legislation has arrived. If you’re not familiar with PACER, count yourself among the lucky ones. PACER performs an essential task: it provides electronic access to federal court dockets and documents. That’s all it does and it barely does it.
PACER charges taxpayers (who’ve already paid taxes to fund the federal court system) $0.10/page for EVERYTHING. Dockets? $0.10/page. (And that “page” is very loosely defined.) Every document is $0.10/page, as though the court system was running a copier and chewing up expensive toner. So is every search result page, even those that fail to find any responsive results. The user interface would barely have been considered “friendly” 30 years ago, never mind in the year of our lord two thousand twenty. Paying $0.10/page for everything while attempting to navigate an counterintuitive interface draped over something that looks like it’s being hosted by Angelfire is no one’s idea of a nostalgic good time.
Legislation attempting to make PACER access free was initiated in 2018. And again in 2019. We’re still paying for access, thanks to the inability of legislators to get these passed. Maybe this is the year it happens, what with a bunch of courtroom precedent being built up suggesting some illegal use of PACER fees by the US Courts system. We’ll see. Here’s what’s on tap for this year’s legislative session: …”
“ALPSP is delighted to announce that the winners of this year’s ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing, are Jus Mundi and WordToEPUB with the Open Library of Humanities receiving Highly Commended….”
“We are writing to urge the District Court for the Eastern District of California to fully enable an existing feature of the PACER system: RSS feeds of all recent cases and filings in your jurisdiction. I am the executive director of Free Law Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Oakland, California that works to make the U.S. legal system more fair and efficient. I am writing on behalf of a broad coalition of individuals and organizations that believe enabling this simple feature is important to transparency and public understanding of court activity….”
“This session will discuss key developments in the worlds of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Access in research. Steven Chang and Thomas Shafee from La Trobe University will provide an overview of the key benefits and challenges/solutions in the context of Law and Legal Studies, situated within the bigger picture of recent developments in open access publishing and open data. This will lay the foundations of how law librarianship can be future-ready in the rapidly changing teaching and research landscape….”
“Launching today, the COVID-19 Law Lab initiative gathers and shares legal documents from over 190 countries across the world to help states establish and implement strong legal frameworks to manage the pandemic. The goal is to ensure that laws protect the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities and that they adhere to international human rights standards.
The new Lab (at www.COVIDLawLab.org) is a joint project of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University….”
“The 2020 Law via the Internet Organizing Committee is pleased to present our Call for Program Proposals for this year’s virtual LVI conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Free Access to Law in a Changing Landscape” and it will take place, virtually, on September 22 and 23, 2020….”
“This webinar, co-hosted by SOAS and the University of Cape Town, focuses on access to African law and legal scholarship. It brings together a panel of law, law and society, and open access academics and practitioners, who will share their experiences on law as lived in Africa.
The session will provide an opportunity for engaging with the challenge of open access legal scholarship in Africa, especially from the perspective of accessibility of this information. The panellists will share details of their own current or planned activities to expand open access law on the continent, shared in concrete personal and organisational contexts. The panel will then proceed to discuss and chart a possible way forward for a continental effort to mobilize African scholars for better open access to legal scholarship.
Many Africanists and African legal scholars agree that increasing access to African law and African legal scholarship will not only have distinct knowledge creation benefits but would also counter the narrative that there is limited legal scholarship within Africa. African legal knowledge, created, nurtured and built upon on the continent, by African scholars, will reflect their context, thoughts and aspirations. More and quality access to primary and scholarly legal information for teachers, researchers and librarians in law, will assist African legal academia to implement and teach a most relevant legal curriculum in law faculties across the continent and abroad.
In that sense, the primary purpose of the webinar is to promote ideas on accessibility of African law, written by Africans. The second purpose, a very practical one, is to establish a forum and continued conversations that will ensure projects, currently operating in silos, can begin to exchange ideas, actions and resources, so that wider, more impactful programmes are generated in the process….”
“Columbia University Libraries is pleased to announce the launch of the Muftiships Web Archive. Developed by librarians within the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation, the archive preserves the websites of Muftis (Muslim legal experts) and leading jurists from the Islamic world. Included are websites that cover the responses of judicial authorities to current events in their respective countries and beyond, illustrate the manner in which these authorities engage with the public, and illuminate the ways in which Islamic law is administered in the digital age. And though included websites have gained greater visibility in light of the Coronavirus pandemic in the Middle East and Islamic world, the jurists and their institutions have been the focus of interest for decades. Curators of the Muftiships Web Archive are: Gayle Fisher (Harvard University), Roberta Dougherty (Yale University), Peter Magierski (Columbia University), Sean Swanick (Duke University), and Guy Burak (New York University), with additional help from Dr. Adnan Zulfiqar (Rutgers Law School), who supplied Fatwas related to the Coronavirus as part of the “Mapping COVID Fatwas“ project in conjunction with Harvard’s Program in Islamic Law. …”
“After reviewing the background against which these challenges have appeared, we suggest that libraries define for themselves a more active role within scholarship production, which we define to include publication, distribution, access, and the process of scholarship impact assessment. The argument rests on the practical considerations of business organization. It is simply good business for law schools to curate the output of faculty scholarship, and many already do it through faculty repositories. Given that foundation, it seems logical for the library, as the institution which already manages those repositories, and which supports the students’ law reviews and journals in numerous ways, to step up and manage the full range of scholarship publication. This library management of student-edited scholarship production could cover all its aspects, excluding editorial publication decision and manuscript editing, from training and assisting to gather sources for cite checks, adding journal content to institutional platforms, administering technology services, and advising on copyright….”