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New UK Free Case Law Service: Judgmental

Judgmental appears to be a new free case law service for the UK.

Judgmental‘s content appears to include case law from the UK, ECJ, ECHR, and Ireland. The years of coverage seem to vary for each court. The Judgmental Website doesn’t appear to include a detailed description of its content, so one must browse in order to determine the coverage for a particular court.

According to the site’s homepage, Judgmental is being developed by “Francis Irving, James Cranch and Nick Bull, with advice and support from Francis Davey, Judith Townend, Stefan Magdalinski and others.”

The service distinguishes itself from BAILII on the ground that while BAILII seems to let Internet search engines (including Google) index only its metadata and full-text from only selected cases, Judgmental lets Google index the full text of all of its case law; Judgmental therefore enables the use of Google and other Internet search engines for full-text retrieval of much UK case law.

Judgmental cases appear to be available only in HTML format, and only individually; no bulk access seems to be available. For each case, some citation (noter-up) information — i.e., citations and links to citing and cited cases — is provided. Also, Judgmental appears not to provide any on-site search tool, so users must either browse to find the case they seek, or search using Internet search engines.

I’ve asked the developers whether they plan to provide bulk access, but they haven’t responded.

News about Judgmental is being posted on Twitter at @judgmentals.

HT @smithsam.

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Profile Photo Rob Richards

I asked the developers what they meant when they described Judgmental data as “usable”, and they replied on 22 May 2011 with the following tweets:

“@richards1000 @frabcus Defining usability as extent to which you help the user to achieve their goal…”

“@richards1000 @frabcus … first step is making content visible at the search engine (where user’s journey typically starts) …”

“@richards1000 @frabcus … goal is to provide more context via links to laws/other judgments, user annotations etc …”

“@richards1000 @frabcus … but that depends on eg improving our textual analysis tools. Very much a work in progress!”

Here are URLs for those tweets:

http://twitter.com/Judgmentals/status/72551967066562560

http://twitter.com/Judgmentals/status/72552432688832512

http://twitter.com/Judgmentals/status/72552937712394240

http://twitter.com/Judgmentals/status/72553311705907201