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Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 technology  research  practice

A Research Tip

  • Research & Writing

There is some rumbling from Alberta this week. The Alberta Courts are no longer publishing decisions on their website, but rather redirecting visitors to CanLII.  The rumbling comes from the seeming abruptness of this move, and the worry over whether decisions will be available as quickly for browsing on CanLII as they were on the Courts website – not about the change itself.

As a process improvement professional, I am the last person who would make a negative comment about change.  How a change project is executed is another matter.

Having CanLII as the primary public source for  Alberta Court decisions does mean that there are a couple of things that users external to the Courts will have to do.

  1. Update any links to judgments that point to www.albertacourts.ca that are on your website, on your intranet pages, in your documents, or in your internal procedures and training manuals.
  2. Move to RSS feeds from CanLII for Alberta decisions – you can even limit your feeds by subject

A cheat for updating your links

CanLII uses a static pattern for individual case links, bless them! It follows the pattern: website/language preference/jurisdiction/neutral court reference/doc/year/neutral cite no spaces/neutral cite.html

If your old URL is

http://www2.albertacourts.ab.ca/jdb/2003-/qb/civil/2011/2011abqb0519.pdf

your new URL will be

http://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abqb/doc/2011/2011abqb519/2011abqb519.html

There are decisions from the Alberta Courts that are not available on CanLII, so you will have to test all your links.

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