E-Resources for Law Libraries: A Study By Ram Kumar Dangi Assistant Librarian Banaras Hindu University, & Dr. Sanjiv Saraf Deputy Librarian Banaras Hindu University
LAW LIBRARIES AND E-RESOURCESLaw libraries have specialized reading materialse.g. case laws,statutory provisions,rules framed under any Act,objectives and reasons of any Act,amendment of any Act,Notifications issued under any particular statute,debates in Parliament at the time of enactment of any particular Act, or academic articles on a given topic in different situations.In modern era use of e-resources increase in these institutions.
INTRODUCTIONLaw libraries have specialized reading materials e.g. case laws, statutory provisions, rules framedunder any Act, object and reasons of any Act, amendment of any Act, Notifications issued underany particular statute, debates in Parliament at the time of enactment of any particular Act, oracademic articles on a given topic in different situations. In India, Some initiatives have been taken by government of India to providing free legalinformation in electronic form.Now a day the ICT has played its major role in every sector of society and libraries are notuntouched by ICT impact.ICT is offering almost every activity in the library.Now, publication of e-resources rapidly increased and a new era “paper less society has come.The most of libraries particularly law libraries, developing e-resource collection for their users.Government of India, Supreme Court of India’s library also has taken good initiatives to providefree access to legal information.
FREE ACCESS TO LAW MOVEMENTThe Free Access to Law Movement is the umbrella name for thecollective of legal projects across several common law countriesto provide free online access to legal information such as caselaw and legislation. The movement began in 1992 with thecreation of the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute byTom Bruce and Peter Martin. The name Legal InformationInstitute has been widely adopted by other projects. It is usuallyprefixed by a country or region identifier
DECLARATION ON FREE ACCESS TO LAWIn October 2002 the meeting of LIIs in Montreal at the 4th Law via InternetConference, made the following declaration as a joint statement of theirphilosophy of access to law. There were some further modifications of theDeclaration at the Sydney meeting of LIIs in 2003 and at the Paris meeting in2004. Legal information institutes of the world, meeting in Montreal, declarethat:Public legal information from all countries and international institutions ispart of the common heritage of humanity. Maximizing access to thisinformation promotes justice and the rule of law;Public legal information is digital common property and should be accessibleto all on a non-profit basis and free of charge;Independent non-profit organizations have the right to publish public legalinformation and the government bodies that create or control thatinformation should provide access to it so that it can be published.
E-RESOURCES E-resources may be categorized in following way:e-Journalse-booke-Zinee-Thesis & Dissertatione-References sourcesOnline DatabaseWeb SiteDigital ContentElectronic Link
The following e-resources are being used by the mostof law library users:Open access e-resources for Indian legal information:1. The Legal Information Institute of India (LII of India) LII of India (http://www.indlii.org/) at presenthas 50 databases, including over 300,000 decisionsfrom 37 Courts and Tribunals, Indian nationallegislation from 1836, over 800 bilateral treaties, lawreform reports and about 500 law journal articles.
2. INDIACODEIndia Code Information System(http://indiacode.nic.in/) is the officialdatabase of the Government of India.Contains all statutes enacted by theParliament. Relevant amendments are alsomay be retrieved from the website.
3. JUDISThe Judgment Information System (http://judis.nic.in/) is freeof charge developed by Supreme Court of India Library. JUDIScontains all reportable judgments of the Supreme Court ofIndia and other regional courts from 1950 to the present(online and CD-ROM). JUDIS contains acts and headnotes forthe judgments delivered up to 1993 only. From 1994 onwardsthe judgments do not have acts and headnotes.
4. Parliament Information SystemThe Parliament of India Home Page(http://parliamentofindia.nic.in) was inaugurated by Dr. ShankerDayal Sharma, the then President of India on 15 March 1996.The Home Page containing the information generated within theRajya Sabha and Lok Sabha has become an important source ofinformation and reference tool. the home page of parliamentprovides the Constitution, Constituent Assembly Debates, General Budget, Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business inLok Sabha , Parliamentary Committees and their Reports, , Biographical sketches of members , Lok Sabha Debates(Proceedings) from July 1991 onwards ,Synopsis of Debates fromJuly 2000 onwards , Parliamentary Questions with Answers fromFebruary 2000 onwards.
5. Law Commission Information System Law commission of India’s website(http://www.lawcommissionofindia.nic.in) is excellentsource for getting law commissions reports in full text.It provides law commission reports from 1st report tolatest (e.g. 243rd report).
6. Government of India PortalThe National Portal of India (www.india.gov.in), developed withan objective to enable a single window access to informationand services being provided by the various Indian Governmententities. The content in this Portal is the result of a collaborativeeffort of various Indian Government Ministries andDepartments, at the Central/State/District level. This Portal isMission Mode Project under the National E-GovernancePlan, designed and maintained by National Informatics Centre(NIC).
7. India Legal Information Institute (IndLii).The First Free Legal Web Portal of India was inaugurated by the PrimeMinister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh on the eve of Law Day in New Delhi on25 November, 2006 at a glittering function held at Vigyan Bhavan.virtual extension of India Legal Information Institute and is available atwww.indlii.org.It is committed tocollect legal information about India for all available sources;publish the same on the Internet with free and full public access;grant rights to the public to use the legal resources without any restrictions;create awareness about the availability of free legal resources; remove hurdles coming in the way of providing free legal information;coordinate with others Institutions to explore sources & utilization of legalinformation.The portal provides information about central and state laws, judgments ofvarious courts in the country besides news of the legal world.
Fee based database8. Manupatra: Comprehensive database of judgments, case laws, reports, legislations,forms, notifications, circulars regarding legal, tax and regulatory issues in India.9. Westlaw: Comprehensive database of judgments, case laws, reports, legislations,forms, notifications, circulars regarding legal, tax and regulatory issues in India andaboard.10. Hien Online:Hein online is an image based collection of legal periodicals.most ofthe title are from USA and UK.11. Lexis-Nexis: Lexis-Nexis provides e-journals, E-books in almost all field ofknowledge including law.12. E-Jurix: E-Jurix is a collection of law information in India covering full textjudgments of Supreme Court, High Courts and tribunal decisions, etc.
E-CONSORTIA AND LAW LIBRARIES IN INDIALibrary consortia is a group of two or more libraries which have agreed tocope rats with one another in order to fulfill certain similar need usuallyresource sharing.E-Consortia are basically evolving a form of cooperation among the librarieswhich come together to share resources electronically.There is no consortium for law libraries in India.UGC- INFONET provides access to Westlaw, Hien-Online and Manupatra forNational Law Universities only. Institutions other then National Universityhave no such consortia facility for law users.
CONCLUSIONA law librarian has to furnish the desired information at once because the case is being argued in the Court anddesired information is needed in the course of the argument.So a law librarian has to provide the information instantly without any excuse. Because of this reason, a lawlibrarian has to be a very alert professional and must develop his or her own tools and expertise to provide thedesired information instantly.Due to explosion of knowledge and constraints on the financial resources, libraries consortia has emerged as anecessity now a days for professional development of the staff, challenges posed by new technologies anddrastic cut in the library budgets.E –resources are become important due to its features like fast searching, s simultaneously use, fast deliveryand remote location use.Governments of India, Supreme Court of India have taken good initiatives for providing legal information inform.Some private service providers like Westlaw, Manupatra, E-Jurix, Hien-Online etc. are also providing legalinformation in form on fee based.IndLii also started services as law gateway in demand of free access to law movement