Jeremy Patrick of Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, has posted Beyond Case Reporters: Using Newspapers to Supplement the Legal-Historical Record (2010). Here is the abstract:
Judicial opinions selected for inclusion in case law reporters are only a small fraction of the universe of legal materials that may provide insight into the history of how legal concepts work in practice. This article examines a neglected source of information: newspaper archives, many of which are becoming available in full-text electronic databases. This article argues that newspapers are a valuable supplement and corrective to legal research performed through traditional means. It includes a test case of how research on a discrete legal topic (Canada’s prohibition on blasphemous libel) turns up very different results in newspaper archives compared to case reporters.
Tags: Context and legal information, Court decisions, Digests of court decisions, Digests of judicial decisions, Jeremy Patrick, Journalism and legal information, Judicial decisions, Legal digests, Legal history research, Legal information in newspapers, Legal research, Newspapers as legal digests, Newspapers as sources of legal information, Summaries of court decisions, Summaries of judicial decisions