Legal Research, Legal Reasoning and Precedent in Canada in the Digital Age
(2018) 48 Advocates’ Quarterly 1
45 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 2, 2018
The past few decades have witnessed the rapid replacement of print-based sources of legal information by digital sources. This article summarizes the existing Anglo-American scholarship on the interaction between legal media, legal reasoning and substantive law, and applies it to the context of Canadian law and Canada’s unique experience of print-based legal information. While Canada adopted the intellectual methods of a print-based legal system, it lagged behind in the establishment of print-based sources of legal information, with the result that the intellectual and institutional structures that derive from print media were nowhere near as entrenched in Canadian law as compared with other common law jurisdictions. Therefore, to whatever degree the transition to digital legal information poses a threat of disruption to a common law legal system, this disruptive effect will be more acute in Canada than in the United States or England.
Keywords: Legal Research, Digital Media, Precedent, Legal History, Law Reporting
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