Accessing Judicial Decisions with Electronic Sources

Ondřej Korhoň

Abstract

This paper is based on research conducted for a diploma thesis focusing on the accessibility of electronic sources of judicature in the Czech Republic. The paper deals with publicly as well as commercially accessible sources. Publicly accessible sources include NALUS administered by the Constitutional Court, the retrieval system of the Supreme Court and the retrieval system of the Supreme Administrative Court. Commercially accessible sources include Beck online, ASPI, and CODEXIS. All of these sources were evaluated on the basis of content range and search engine and user interface quality. This paper argues that the quality of public sources is generally comparable to commercial ones, in some cases even exceeding their quality (e. g. the NALUS system). The narrower specialization of the public sources makes them more user-friendly in terms of accessing judicature. On the other hand, judicature only constitutes one part of the services provided by the commercial systems: their search engines are shared by other services, which makes them more difficult to navigate. However this also enables them to provide judicature in the context of other relevant information such as legislation or literature. 

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