Monday, March 24, 2014

Find Constitutions online - for free

New website provides searchable database of constitutions

If you find yourself drafting a constitution anytime soon and need ideas, you're in luck. A new searchable database of 189 constitutions from around the world is now online.
Constitutional scholars Zachary Elkins of the University of Texas, Tom Ginsburg of the University of Chicago Law School and James Melton of University College London created Constitute after receiving a grant from Google Ideas. The site launched last fall. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Where has Brookers gone?

The legal database platform Brookers is being retired, and replaced with WestlawNZ - new name, same content...... presented slightly differently.
To this end, I've removed the Brookers and Briefcase link from the Quick links box in the Law subject guide.

Please use WestlawNZ instead.
Please don't hesitate to ask for assistance.
WestlawNZ are developing tutorials and guides, which you can access here .

For a short time, the old platform is still accessible from elsewhere in the subject guide.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Welcome back

2014 promises to be another busy year.
As noted late last year, some changes are afoot.

In late February, the Brookers Online platform will retire, and be replaced with WestlawNZ - same content, different colour-scheme!
You can start using the new platform now... accessible from the Law Subject Guide, in the Quicklinks.

Any questions, just ask. My contact details are also on the Guide.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merry Christmas

Christmas holidays are almost here, so this is the last post for the year.
Things to look forward to in the New Year are:
  • revamped subject guide - cosmetic changes mostly
  • WestlawNZ - and the phasing out of the Brookers platform
  • more 'how to' guides and mindmaps to help your immediate research needs
Plus a few surprises planned for later, much later in 2014.

Happy holidays.
See you next year .
Best wishes, the Law Librarian.

Monday, December 9, 2013

HelpMePublish mobile app launched

HelpMePublish is a 'crowdsourced' database listing over 5300 academic jouranls in 13 subject areas, and was created by the University of Otago.
The database displays live data as it is contributed to by journal editors (including acceptance rates and refereeing policies) and academic via the app's built in journal rating programme.

They've built it but if HelpMePublish is to be a valuable resource for the research community they need you to contribute your experience as a publishing researcher.

For more information about the HelpMePublish project go to

To download the HMP app go to our App Store page.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How the Richardson Building got its name

Everyday, on your way up to the Law Library, you pass under the sign: Richardson Building (I pushed for the name "Thompson Towers", but Peter from Property Services wasn't convinced!).
Many people might know that Richardson was an early Chancellor of the University, but his contributions to Otago, and to the whole country were far more remarkable.
He is commemorated in the Foyer of his namesake, and I urge you to take a closer look.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blogging in the Supreme court sees a new wave of 'citizen journalism'

According to the Guardian, (22 October 2013),  the State of Victoria's Supreme Court is moving with the times.
Court reporting has been around for 100's of years (see the Law Library's set of 'Nominate Reports'), and now they're going to employ a retired judge to blog it.

In a recent speech, "Open  justice in a technological age", Victorian Chief Justice, Marilyn Warren said the court’s new interactive website would become a hub for the court’s communication with the public, who would be able to comment on the website, watch video on demand, debate in online forums, and download judgments and summaries.
She said employing a retired judge to blog the courts represented a “historic shift away from traditional judicial reluctance to explain or defend judicial decisions that are made in accordance with the rule of law”.
Warren added that other experts, including academics and journalists, would also be invited to blog for the court.

Can you imagine that happening here?