Ms. Laurence Bich-Carrière, litigation lawyer at Lavery, is the author of an article entitled « Le détissage juridique: étude de l’obsolescence des citations électroniques dans les décisions de la Cour suprême du Canada (1998-2014) » [Legal Citations Unweaving: a Study of the Obsolescence of Electronic Citations in the Supreme Court of Canada Decisions], published on January 16, 2015 in the Supreme Court Law Review.
By reviewing the electronic references used by the Supreme Court of Canada in its decisions, Ms. Bich-Carrière seeks to assess how the dematerialization of sources and the paradigm shift of the Internet impact the legal profession’s relation to the notion of sources, on which rests the very principle of precedent. From an exhaustive empirical study arises the alarming conclusion that a third of the referenced hyperlinks are broken, and that the link rot phenomenon increases with time. Ms. Bich-Carrière then takes a two-fold approach to try to alleviate the issue: in addition to trying to discern potential factors which could help predict which links will rot, she suggests some preventive measures by drawing on both research methodology and archiving norms.
To read the article (in French only), click here.