When is case law on the web the "official" published source? Criteria, quandaries, and implications for the US and the UK


  • Richard Matthews




Online legal resources in the US are starting to become the sole official published source for the law. This demands attention to authentication procedures, as well as appropriate long-term preservation methods, to ensure those resources are reliable. This article explores the concept of "official" published source as applied to US and UK law material. The web shapes that concept and gives new significance to the citizen perspective on legal resources. That perspective raises special concerns about new developments in the UK that confer official status on proprietary reports not freely available on the web.Article by Richard J. Matthews published in Amicus Curiae - Journal of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies. The Journal is produced by the Society for Advanced Legal Studies at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London. Richard J. Matthews JD, MLIS has served in various academic, court, and law firm libraries in the United States. He was a 2006-2007 Visiting Fellow in Law Librarianship at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. As Chair of AALL's 2005-2006 Access to Electronic Legal Information Committee, he led the American Association of Law Libraries' fifty-state authetication study and is Editor-in-Chief of the final report.


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