InForum new decisions lists have ceased - customize your current awareness

In January 2012, Council approved a refocusing of the purpose and direction of Library & Information Services, moving away from a role as a publisher of legal information, as that service is provided by CanLII, the Courts, and various private publishing houses. The duplication of these services was deemed not an effective use of Society resources in alignment with the Society’s Strategic Directions and Priorities. The Society subsequently notified the membership of these changes in InForum and the Society Record.

The process of divesting the Society’s legal publication services has been ongoing since that date. The next phase in this project is ending the production and redistribution of lists of newly released decisions from the Courts of Nova Scotia and the Supreme Court of Canada.

For many years, Society staff in Library & Information Services have prepared a linked list of newly released decisions from the Courts of Nova Scotia for publication in InForum. This list was generated out of the same work to produce the Society’s online database, Law News Online, and print publication, Nova Scotia Law News, which indexed, digested and disseminated newly released decisions of the Courts of Nova Scotia. The print publication was discontinued and online database no longer maintained as of April 2012. 

This linked list does not make use of information-sharing platforms – such as Twitter and RSS feeds – that have since emerged to provide this kind of current awareness. This is especially true of the excellent options available through CanLII, the online product owned by all the law societies in Canada.

Also, it is important to note that ceasing this service aligns with efforts by CanLII and the Courts to block indexing of Nova Scotia court and tribunal decisions by Google.

We are aware that the Courts receive complaints from the public about Nova Scotia court decisions appearing in Google search results. Publishing this linked list of new Nova Scotia decisions in InForum has permitted the circumventing of the Courts and CanLII’s efforts to block Google indexing of decisions. Ceasing the publication of the linked list will eliminate this unintended circumvention.

For these reasons, the Society’s preparation and publication of this list of new decisions ceased with the December 22, 2014 edition of InForum. The Society’s re-publication of new SCC decisions, with subject headings and summaries prepared by the Supreme Court of Canada, also ceased with the December 22, 2014InForum issue.

Tools to customize your current awareness
To subscribe and receive notification of new SCC decisions directly, follow the links to the Mailing List and RSS Feeds on the Supreme Court of Canada Judgments website.

There are several freely available online alternatives available for practitioners to keep current in Nova Scotia case law.

The Courts of Nova Scotia provide Twitter feeds on the Court decisions webpage for decisions newly released from the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, Provincial Court and Small Claims Court. If you do not have a Twitter account, you can simply click on the Twitter feed to review the decisions released each day.

Alternatively, CanLII provides RSS feeds for all 21 of its databases of Nova Scotia courts and tribunals. Each feed provides the style of cause, citation, date and five subject words describing the case. These subject words, while lacking precision, do assist in assessing relevancy.

For more tips on customizing your own current awareness using Twitter, RSS and email, see Keeping current in the Library services section of the Society’s website.

Please contact Deborah Copeman, Librarian, with any questions or concerns.