Alerts, JADE clips, visualisation tools and document uploading continue to be popular tools with our users, helping to improve their efficiency and maintain current awareness.
2018 will see JADE evolving, with exciting changes allowing users to create a bespoke subscription tailored to practice needs. We are also introducing a new and innovative way to research legislation, as well as continuing to expand our coverage.
Like any business, the expansion of our service offering will see changes to our pricing. These changes will allow us to offer our users more flexibility and reinvest in the business so we can continue to offer new and unique functionality in the legal research space.
While our pricing will change with modest increases to monthly and annual subscriptions, we will grandfather our existing subscribers for a period of 6 months from their 2018 renewal date with the opportunity to fully explore our new subscription tiers.
(*Actually, it was Mark Twain – Gary Scharnhorst (Ed), Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews (University of Alabama Press, 2006)).
The way in which we consume information and literature has evolved significantly over the last 10 years. For publishers of printed material, this change in consumption has necessitated a move to digital publishing, with a strong demand for content to be made available across a multitude of devices, and accessible 24/7 from any location.
The impact of the “digital age” on our consumption of information and literature has been particularly noticeable in the area of legal research and information. The timely and accurate dissemination, and management of general information as to society, politics and human behaviour; and more specific legal information such as decisions of courts, legislation and regulations etc, is essential to the proper function of our legal system.
The digitisation of legal information has come about in response to the needs of the profession, driven by the use of new technologies. Word processing software, the internet, email, smart phones, online court registries and e-litigation have all changed the way in which lawyers and law makers go about their daily business.
Publishers of legal information have had to respond to the demand for material to be available through digital channels, while continuing to fulfil demand, albeit diminishing, for their print publications. In an effort to develop viable business models and maintain profit margins, local editorial and print production facilities were moved off-shore; and pricing structures were changed.
Printed material is now likely to be bundled with (often unrelated) electronic subscriptions, thereby diluting the value of print and inferring that products such as bound case volumes and cumulative indices are a luxury, over-priced and unnecessary. However, one might be so bold to posit that notwithstanding the use of new technology, many within the profession still cherish the tactility and utility of paper, and resort to printing material accessed via digital platforms. Tell us … is this you?
Author Mark Kurlansky, in his 2016 work “Paper: Paging Through History”, argues that technology does not shape society; society shapes technology:
“Chroniclers of the role of paper in history are given to extravagant pronouncements: Architecture would not have been possible without paper. Without paper, there would have been no Renaissance. If there had been no paper, the Industrial Revolution would not have been possible. None of these statements is true. These developments came about because society had come to a point where they were needed. This is true of all technology, but in the case of paper, it is particularly clear.”
While the practice and administration of the law is at the mercy of constantly evolving technologies, the accurate recording and robust preservation of legal information is paramount to the rule of law and access to justice. As such, it is the lawyers and law makers, and not profit margins or business models, that should shape the technology of legal research and information.
We respectfully submit, therefore, that any report of the death of the printed word (at least in the context of legal research and information) is an exaggeration.
JADE World is our amazing blog and tweet aggregation service linked to the JADE legal research platform.
The JADE team is delighted to launch the second beta release of: JADE.WORLD. We have collected blogs and tweets from selected websites and integrated them with content found in JADE.
If you are looking for up-to-the-minute commentary, or to be alerted to recent legal developments, JADE WORLD is your perfect companion to JADE. Jade World is organised by citations, topics and current awareness. All linked to JADE for your research convenience.
JADE World Coverage
We already feature more than 16,000 articles (blogs and tweets), by 502 authors, within 40 leading blogs and countless more tweets. This material references more than 9,200 cases and 1,250 references to statutory materials, with almost 3,000 at the section level.
You know the drill: you have found the winning citation and all you need to do is to get it into your submissions. That’s the bit that takes the longest time; typing checking and typing agin. There is now a much easier way, using JADE® technology.
Following many user requests, the JADE legal research platform team has just implemented a fast way to copy and past citations from the case you are viewing to make your research that much faster and more accurate. This is an additional method to our amazing JADE Marks.
Copying a citation using copy and paste, JADE style
Over the past year, our legal research boffins have been working to make your legal research faster, better, and more enjoyable. We could think of few better ways than mobilising our massive database of legal knowledge and making it available at your (voice) command.
With JADE professional’s emerging Chat-and-Know™ technology, we are taking the next big step towards a conversational model for legal research. Starting today, we are inviting our existing JADE professional users to sign up to our limited beta. To join, please speak with your JADE professional consultant. If you have not already signed up to JADE professional, please ask about joining this beta after you sign up.
Conversational legal research is nothing new
Remember the good old days, back before the arrival of AustLII in the mid-1990s, when we would ask our colleagues for assistance, and discuss our most pressing legal questions with them. And that process would elicit a range of legal possibilities that boolean searching simply could not capture.
The coherence of law was manifest in those discussions, as was the imprecision of the answers we would receive, often requiring many hours of further library research. The collegiality of the legal profession was cemented by this common quest for legal knowledge.
We need to campaign for the value of ‘less is more’
Since the rise of online legal research, the art of conversational legal research has been undervalued: it seems that vast quantities of irrelevant results churned out through imperfect and primitive electronic legal research tools have gained undeserved ascendancy.
In this age of research excess, we have forgotten that simplicity and clarity is often more valuable than the presentation of every decision in which a discretion is exercised. We need to remember that ‘less is more’, for our clients, in court, and because people want us to tell them the time and not build them a clock.
Conversational legal research is about reclaiming and reimagining how legal research might be in the post-screen age. By using only your voice, you will be able to undertake legal research and get answers to some of the most difficult questions. Strike up a conversation about the rule of law. Discover answers to questions through a simple conversation. Cross-examine, Jasmine, our JadeBot.
With Jasmine, you will be able to have conversations. We will publish some examples in our next post.
We have spent 2016, continuing our quest to make JADE the best legal research platform for legal professionals. Our team has grown, with more dedicated JADE team members.
We delivered regular and special training events in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, London, Melbourne, Oxfordshire, Perth, San Francisco, and Sydney.
The whole BarNet team sends greetings, and wishes you, our dear reader, happy holidays.
Key improvements we made to JADE in 2016
JADE Platform enhancements
Here are just a few of the amazing improvements we made during 2016 to the JADE Research Platform (for the improvements made in 2015, see our 2015 review):
Ease of inclusion and citation
Intelligent URLS. We updated all of our URLs to a format which allows you to cite to JADE at the paragraph or section level. This makes it easy to cut and paste JADE content into your opinions or blogs and have JADE tell you about updates. You can use any citation scheme as well, no need to know the internal JADE references. More about this in a separate post.
Copy and paste with ease. We are making it easier to incorporate JADE content into your work. Writing submissions and need to grab the correct citation, it’s easy with JADE. More about this in a separate post.
Customised annotations. With new features, JADE helps you to find the law and remember it. With recent changes, we also make it easier for you to duplicate your annotations and share them with colleagues.
Improved JADE professional features. After all, our JADE professional users support the development of JADE, so you deserve regular updates. Here a just a few of the exciting improvements we made to JADE professional:
Document upload. We improved document upload. With the work we have undertaken on citations our amazing upload tool now detects more citation errors (such as where the case name and citation don’t match, or where the page cited does not come within the relevant citation. More about this in a separate post.
Legislation histories. We extended our very popular and time saving visual history features from Commonwealth legislation to New South Wales, Queensland, and Victorian legislation. We are in the process of adding South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory. We are continuing to seek access to Western Australian statutory material.
Victorian Reports are live and linked into JADE. Links to the authorised Victorian Reports version of the decision since  VR to date. We are in the process of adding in content from 1863 onwards, but, of course, working backwards. This is linked to the Victorian Reports Pay Per View portal, which makes using the Victorian Reports easier than ever.
Tracking legislative and regulatory changes. You can set up an alert to track changes in legislation, including any compilations. For example, when a new compilation of an Act has been released.
We implemented the second part of our extensive litigation histories project for most intermediate appellate courts and the High Court of Australia, which includes (as with the first part):
(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 have many more improvements in the pipeline for early 2017. If you have suggestions for improvements, please let us know.
More content in the JADE Content Ecosystem
We put even 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 added additional report series coverage in 2016.
we now include the following additional report series citations, and we have been progressively backfilling them to the entire series where possible, even if there is no corresponding Medium Neutral Citation):
All current 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).
Historial report series: NSWR, SR(NSW), VLR, etc.
State Reports (Western Australia) (SR (WA))
Strata Title Reports (New South Wales) (STR (NSW))
All England Reports (All ER)
Even more Court and Tribunal content. During 2016, driven by requests from our users, we added many additional courts and tribunals to the JADE Corpus, including:
Queensland Land Court (QLC)
Queensland Land Court – Appeals Cases (QLAC)
Queensland Children’s Court (QChC)
Magistrates’ Court of Queensland – Children’s Court (QChCM)
Northern Territory Local Court (NTLC)
Family Court of Western Australia (FCWA)
Family Court of Western Australia – Magistrates (FCWAM).
New reading and reporting formats
We made new formats for our JADE professional users, including:
Further enhancement to our 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
We added more content to our side project, JADE World which was launched in 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 2017.