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Announcing the Criminal Law Practice Portal

by Kat Siddle | Jan 07, 2013

We’re excited to launch the newest facet of our website: the Criminal Law Practice Portal.

Designed to address the information needs of the criminal practitioner community, this site features several new tools, including:

  • Easy-to-find hearing lists that bring daily court hearings for all levels of court and all locations together in one place
  • rangefindr, a new, intuitive criminal sentencing quantum tool we've recently added to the Reading Room. (The Reading Room is a collection of ebooks, journal articles, legislation and other tools that members of the Law Society of BC can access for free, from their home or office. If you haven’t signed up for the Reading Room yet, learn how at http://www.courthouselibrary.ca/ReadingRoom.aspx)
    For those not familiar with rangefindr, we’ve also created a short training video that shows you the quickest and easiest way to isolate the cases most suited to a set of facts
  • A downloadable accredited CPD study kit. We’ve heard from lawyers in smaller communities around the province that it can sometimes be difficult to get your CPD credits in an affordable way. Designed to be used in small groups, our study kits gather both articles and cases and pair them with questions for discussion. In our first kit, A Knock at the Door: When the Police Want to Search Your Law Office, you’ll read about what happens when police have a warrant to search a lawyers’ office. A set of optional questions prompt you to consider both practical and scholarly implications of the law in this area. It’s suitable for local bar associations, small groups of criminal practitioners—and practitioners in other areas as well. Once you’re finished, your credits can be registered directly through the Law Society website by using the already established course credentials. Stay tuned for more kits coming soon.

The site also contains recent news, blog posts, and a "curated resources" section that helps you find up-to-date editions of core texts. Every Courthouse Library in BC has up-to-date copies of Ewaschuk’s Criminal Pleadings & Practice in Canada and McWilliams' Canadian Criminal Evidence, for example. In most locations, the latest version of both these titles is only available as a digital copy, and can be found in our Criminal Spectrum database (along with several other key texts). We hope that "curated resources" will help make these hidden gems more visible to those who want them.

The Criminal Practice Portal is the result of a long consultation process. Last summer, our Legal Liaisons engaged with lawyers and judges across the province. We asked about legal research habits, what information was hard to find, and which tools would help the most. The end result was something we couldn’t have created on our own (for example, we didin't appreciate the demand for tools like rangefindr until we consulted with the bar). We hope that it proves invaluable to criminal law practitioners across BC.

If you have any recommendations or requests for the Criminal Practice Portal (or any other part of our website), please contact us at webmaster@courthouselibrary.ca or call one of our Legal Community Liaisons. We’re looking forward to incorporating ideas from all areas of BC’s legal community into our future offerings.

 

 

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