Thursday, July 28, 2011

Universal Citation

This month at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries, law librarians and legal educators met for the first time to pursue the goal of a uniform legal citation format. The group’s website explains the purpose of the meeting which took place at the Rutgers-Camden School of Law. A video of the event is at this link. The meeting begins at around 19:25, and ends at 146:20.

The webpage states: "In the late 1990's, the American Bar Association, American Association of Law Libraries, and many others looked to the future of legal information and saw the need for change. As the country and our courts shifted to a digital environment, they saw the need for a new way to refer to court decisions and other documents on which the law depends. With the potential for great increases in the availability of legal information, there needed to be a citation style that did not depend on the increasingly outdated print editions that used to be the basis of legal references."

For more information about what UniversalCitation.Org aims to be, read A Proposed Course of Action for or Some Alternative Non-Commercial Entity by Professor Peter Martin. See also Professor Martin’s article Neutral Citation, Court Web Sites, and Access to Authoritative Case Law, 99 Law Lib. J. 329 (2007), which discusses the history of Universal Citations in the United States.

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