Monthly Archives: December 2015

JADE Year in Review 2015

Easier, Faster, Better

The JADE editorial team has had an amazing year. New team members, even more content, and even more users.

Our mission is to make legal research easier, faster, and better. Like all good mission statements, it is unbounded and provide a range of meanings. Is your easier, our easier? Does ‘better’ come in orange or black? Is green the new red? As with all professional legal research platforms, seeing is believing in JADE.

Meet the team

We have more dedicated JADE team members, but our lego supplies have been used to construct our new 3D user interface, virtual reality goggles, and to create personas for our JADE users. Because every user is different, we have needed a lot of lego. We pieced this photo together from leftovers.


The whole BarNet team sends greetings, and wishes you, our dear reader, happy holidays.

Key improvements we made to JADE in 2015

JADE Platform enhancements

Here are just a few of the amazing improvements we made during 2015 to the JADE Research Platform:

  • We implemented the first part of our extensive litigation histories project for most intermediate appellate courts and the High Court of Australia, which includes:
    • (in the case of the High Court) references to written submissions, special leave hearings, and transcript.
    • (in the case of all courts) tracing as many decisions as we can find, including earlier interlocutory hearings; and
    • letting you know (as best we can) that a decision you are reading has received subsequent appellate consideration, including from the FCCA and AATA, or in the case of some intermediate appellate courts and the High Court of Australia, when a decision is pending, and, in the case of the High Court, when special leave has been granted or refused.
  • We improved proximity operators to let you use what you know from other major legal research platforms in JADE. This includes the popular w/n and w/p options. We also coupled that with better documentation.
  • We created the amazing JADE Find tool to help you to pin-point search terms within your search results and save time, unlike any other professional legal research system, we highlight (in vibrant wonderful colours):
    • the places where the entire search string is satisfied in the decision and not just mere words; and
    • root derivatives of words, so that typing in ‘injury’ will also highlight references to injuries, injured, injuring, and more.
  • We harnessed the power of virtual scissors, to help you quickly focus on your research. If you are a JADE Professional user, with a single click you can see only the paragraphs which contain:
    • the terms entered (aptly and uniquely called focus matches); or
    • the parts of the retrieved decision to which reference has been made by subsequent decisions (unimaginatively called ‘see cited sections only’).
  • Linking JADE to your organisation’s library’s subscription systems and other content. We call this feature LibraryPlus and it is available to JADE Enterprise Users for a small additional fee.

We have many more improvements in the pipeline for early 2016. If you have suggestions for improvements, please let us know.

More content in the JADE Content Ecosystem

We put much more content into the JADE system. Here’s a brief snapshot:

  • Including links to all authorised report and leading specialised report series. This means that:
    • you can search by reference to reported citations, without needing to know the Medium Neutral Citation. Even better, if you subscribe to these reports, you can see at a glance if a decision has been reported and use JADE to reliably locate the authorised report citation.
    • we now include the following additional report series citations, and we have been progressively backfilling them to at least 2000:
      • All Australian Authorised reports series, ACTR, NSWLR, NTR, QdR, SASR, TasR, VR, and WAR;
      • Administrative Law Decisions (ALD);
      • Butterworths Property Reports (BPR);
      • Local Government and Environmental Reports of Australia (LGERA);
      • Australian Criminal Reports (ACR, ACrimR, A Crim R);
      • Banking and Finance Reports of Australia (BFRA);
      • Australian Tax Cases (ATC);
      • Motor Vehicle Reports (MVR);
      • Family Law Reports (Fam LR); and
      • Intellectual Property Reports (IPR).
  • Legislation. During 2015, we added and enhanced additional legislation coverage. In particular we added and enhanced Commonwealth Legislation, New South Wales Legislation, Queensland Legislation, Victorian Legislation, and ACT legislation. Expect many more enhancements in January 2016 as our coders taken their computers to the beach for extra fun.
  • More Court and Tribunal content. During 2015, driven by requests from our users, we added many additional courts and tribunals to the JADE Corpus, including:
    • the County Court of Victoria (VCC)
    • ACT Industrial Court;
    • ACT Coroner’s Court;
    • Industrial Court of Queensland;
    • Mental Health Tribunal of NSW)
    • South Australian Wardens Court;
    • NSW Workers Compensation Commission; and
    • WA State Administrative Tribunal.

New reading and reporting formats

  • We made new formats for our JADE professional users, including:
    • Professional layout: under the Print and Export tab there is now a Professional Layout option for cases post 2013 which puts the unreported decision in a familiar law report format.
    • The Collation of full-text decisions into a single PDF, if you upload full-text decisions.

JADE World launched

Our side project, JADE World was launched on 15 June 2015.

JADE World aggregates selected leading blogs and tweets referring to cases or statutes and integrates them with content found in JADE as an additional tool for maintaining current awareness.

Thank you for your support

The support we’ve received and continue to receive from all the JADE Professional subscriptions is overwhelming. Thanks to you we’re in a good position to surpass JADE 2015 in the new year. Be ready for the new JADE features in 2016.


See you in January.

Phrase in context machine learning

The JADE team is delighted to announce the next generation in its highly-praised search system. Code-named Zora, our new system is being progressively released to JADE professional subscribers.

We are using new methods and new equipment to bring this system to life. There are three key parts to Zora:

  • the combobulator transduction gateway™;
  • the ambiguity containment cortex™; and
  • the phrase extraction tanks™

Here are a few photos as the team was working on the prototype:

Combobulator transduction gateway™

Legal search systems often overlook that meaning is in the eye of the beholder, and that one legal researcher’s meaning may be another’s confusion. Using our state-of-the-art combobulator transduction gateway™, we have been able to extract personalised research results to minimise search frustration.

As the following photo illustrates, the assembly of this capability takes a talented hands-on engineering team.


This device can process more than 200,000 meanings a second.
It’s tricky work to tune the JADE Combobulator.

Ambiguity containment cortex™

Our team’s motto is the “ambiguity is the enemy of progress”. When our users search for contract, they want agreement and not reduce in size. After years of research, it turns out we were approaching the problem of legal search in the wrong way. We needed to look at the space between words, rather than the words themselves. We needed to consider proximity searching in a new way.

Built into the core of JADE, the ambiguity containment cortex is deceptively small. Holding only the spaces between words, we saved on storage. Although legal ambiguity is widespread, most of this results from the use large words with few spaces.

Once we were able to scale down the size of the container, our next  challenge was to make the structure sturdy enough to restrain outbursts of non-sequiturs polluting an otherwise accurate search. The following photo shows our team precisely adjusting the containment panels:


Phrase extraction tanks

These amazing tanks hold all of the known legal phrases in a suspension from which meaning can be extracted through the use of solar energy and fresh air.


They require large blower fans to push the air to release the meaning:


Inside the JADE Search Engine

Many of our users ask how the JADE magic occurs. Our JADE legal research platform uses the latest technologies to bring you the information you need.

Here are some never before seen photos of our next generation search engine. But first, let us show you how far we have come.

The first generation legal search system

You will be familiar with first generation legal search systems. You may have used them to undertake Australian legal research back in the late 1990s. Few people know how they work. For most people, they do not work very well. When we were trying to understand how to improve legal research, we developed a few prototypes of these early systems. You can see from the photo below how they were plainly insufficient for the needs of the modern legal professional researcher.


Our first generation central retrieval governor

As the speed of research increased, the wheel to the left overheated and caused the retrieval system to over retrieve irrelevant information. Then it caught fire and this photo is all we have left of that fateful research experiment.

The JADE Next Generation Search Engine

Who says that technological advances cannot also look good on the outside? In the past years, we have invested heavily in improving all aspects of JADE.


The JADE Next Generation Research Hub