Researching Niche Legal Issues

Today, electronic data is generated at a rate and volume exponentially faster than anything seen previously. We have brilliant tools like CanLII at our fingertips to access all of it. But CanLII is best navigated by lawyers and legal professionals who understand the nature of the relationships between documents and what search terms to look for. What about everyone else, who are looking to better understand something from a specific area of law but are without the benefit of formal legal education? Accessing legal information is a challenge for those outside of the legal community – informational clutter gets in the way of the end result.

When using research databases, one will often have to look through hundreds of results to find something refined and particular. This can be time consuming, inefficient and often aggravating, and the risk of finding imprecise information is always at large. An individual aiming to learn if he has a right to access some information from his personal record at a credit agency , for example, may benefit from access to decisions of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Without straight-forward, quick access, he may be led to pay for services that should be provided to him at no cost..

Can the noise be reduced, so that public access to researching niche legal issues is faster and to-the-point?

Yes. Like any true historian would say, the answer is to go straight to the source. In this case, the source is the website of the court, board, tribunal, agency, association or other similar institution itself. And the platform to get there is Decisia.

Decisia is an online tool for decision-making bodies wishing to self-publish their decisions from their own website, intranet and extranet. Decisia can also be used to manage and self-publish judgments, opinions, orders, and the like. In addition, Decisia provides a platform to publish documents that would otherwise not be available on CanLII, such as bulletins, news releases, or notices of hearings. And because Decisia can automatically feed CanLII, it is not a question of choosing between one or the other, both solutions complement each other.

What does Decisia do to simplify the research process? It provides a one-stop source for information directly on the decision-making body website, using technologies developed by Lexum for major legal research databases such as CanLII. Decisia offers more refined search functionality, supporting fields that are not found on CanLII. Users can easily access relevant information with a few clicks of a button. Interested in following changes in a specialized area of law? Decisia supports mailing lists, so that users can choose to be notified by email of any developments occurring in their field of interest. General users can cut to the chase, rather than spending hours and energy sifting through hundreds of results originating from a plethora of legal sources. For administrative bodies it means being able to better serve their own specialized audience.

Decisia expedites the information-finding process while providing decision-makers with an easy-to-use, highly configurable self-publishing platform. Decisia cuts the clutter, directly connecting users to focused areas of law with ease.