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Importance of Legal Database

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IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE LEGAL DATABASES

Submitted by:

Rhea Srivastava
Division B (BBA LLB)
Roll No – 11

Class 2016 of Symbiosis Law School, NOIDA
Symbiosis International University, PUNE
In
February 2012

Under the guidance of:

Ms. Harjinder Kaur and Mr. Nilesh Aeer

Course in Charge,
Use of Legal Database

Symbiosis Law School,
NOIDA 201301

D E C L A R A T I O N

I Rhea Srivastava, student of BBA LLB Semester II of Symbiosis Law School, Noida hereby declare that the Advanced ICT Training research paper titled “IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE LEGAL DATABASES ” is submitted by me in the line of partial fulfillment of course objectives for the BBA LLB degree. I assure that this synopsis is the result of my own efforts and that any other institute for the award of any degree or diploma has not submitted it.

C E R T I F I C A T E

The project entitled “IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE LEGAL DATABASES” submitted to the Symbiosis Law School, Noida for Use of Legal Databases as part of internal assessment is based on my original work carried out under the guidance of Ms. Harjinder Kaur and Mr. Nilesh Aeer.

The research work has not been submitted elsewhere for award of any degree.
The material borrowed from other sources and incorporated in the thesis has been duly acknowledged.

I understand that I myself could be held responsible and accountable for plagiarism, if any, detected later on.

RHEA SRIVASTAVA Date: 23rd March, 2012

A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S

With my deepest appreciation, I would like to thank Ms. Harjinder Kaur and Mr. Nilesh Aeer for providing me the opportunity to undertake a research work on IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE LEGAL DATABASES

I would like to thank them for providing me all the necessary help in completing this project. Without their help, it would be very difficult for me to complete the project on time.

I would like to thank Symbiosis Law School, Noida for providing me an excellent environment which helped in my project.

I would also like to thank all my classmates for helping me, in one way or the other, for the success of this research paper.

INTRODUCTION

The definition of the term ‘database’ is essential mainly within the context of introducing a sui generis right for database protection. In fact, international measures addressing database copyright refer to ‘compilations’ although it is understood that the objects of protection are databases. However, the introduction of a new intellectual property right demands a precise definition regarding its object of protection. It seems that the accepted legal definition of a ‘database’, for the purpose of intellectual property law, is modeled on the definition given in the European Union Database Directive. The definition is as follows:
‘Database’ shall mean a collection of independent works, data or other materials arranged in a systematic or methodical way and individually accessible by electronic or other means.
The definition implies that a database is based upon pre-existing materials and will not necessarily be performed by the originator or right-holder of the materials on which the database is based. Furthermore, incorporation of materials in a database is subject to any right in those materials. This implies that the rights in the databases are distinct from the rights in the underlying materials that form the database and do not extend to such materials.
The significant distinction is that between unprotected and protected works or data and works respectively. Works are protected in their own rights, whereas data is normally in the public domain. The category of ‘other materials’ is of a general nature. Materials in this sense could be in any form, so different kinds of expressed information may be included in a particular database. For instance, segments of musical or artistic works which don’t amount to works, might be considered as materials.
Indeed, the Database Directive provides not less than three qualifying attributes. Firstly, the materials incorporated into the database have to be ‘independent’. This presumably means that each of the items included in the database should be known and recognised. Secondly, the materials have to be arranged in a systematic or methodical way. Thirdly, the materials are individually accessible by electronic and other means. This last attribute is closely related to the ‘independent’ attribute. If the items in the database could be ‘individually accessible’ then they are identified and discrete items.
The requirement of ‘systematic or methodical arrangement’ is slightly more confusing. If ‘arrangement’ is required, it suggests that any arrangement is sufficient unlike copyright protection where a requirement exists for the arrangement must be original. If the arrangement of materials in a database, at least in electronic ones, are done by the software employed in creating the database and are changeable according to the software user’s requests, then what is the meaning or arranged materials?
The ‘systematic and methodical’ requirement seems to assert the structured nature of databases. A database, by its inherent nature, information with respect to the materials, such as description, location, relationship to other materials etc... This process is probably the ‘systematic arrangement’ requirement.
The objective of the Database Directive, namely leaving the protection of computer programs to be dealt with by the Software Directive is very clear. It did this by confining the Database Directive to ‘databases’ as distinguished from ‘computer programs’. However, the distinction between these two entities is not as clear-cut. It is true that data processed and presented by computer programs could form part of the coding of a particular program. Once this particular program is compiled to form an executable object code, the distinction between the data and the set of instructions that form the ‘computer program’ is inseparable. In this case, one should make a logical distinction between the data and the computer program, and not a physical distinction based on the examination of the converged coding. This means that the test for distinguishing between data and computer programs is the examination of the purpose, the content and the context of the information at issue. If this information were intended to control the flow, the processing, the manipulation and the presentation of objects held in the computer storage, this would be a ‘computer program’.
However, when the information is the object to be processed, manipulated or presented, it is ‘data’ and not a ‘computer program’. Otherwise, any data held in the computer memory could be defined as a ‘computer program’ by virtue of being able to be presented by an output device. If this were the case, there would be no need for a Directive dealing with databases, since databases are, by definition, stored in computer storage, and therefore, according to this line of reasoning, constitute a ‘computer program’. Although the flaw in the above argument is obvious, it is still hard to draw the exact line to separate ‘data’ or a ‘database’ and a ‘computer program’

USES
Legal Research is one of the basic skills of being a lawyer and also one of the standards to evaluate a lawyer's practice skill. Some scholar said that" Legal research is kind of art and a kind of wisdom and a technical activity of solving a problem. We should analyze every topic to be researched and evaluate the tools we exploit so as to choose the best appropriate method. "For different lawyers in different majors have different applications and requirements on legal database, right choice and proper use are one of the key points of legal research and will have influence on the quality and efficiency of legal service. I briefly compared the following database on the basis of the usage of database from the view of foreign related intellectual property practice so as to attract professions to participate in discussion and complementation.
"Chinalawinfo", Search System of Laws in China, is a intelligent legal search system produced by Peking University Center for Legal Information and www.chinalawinfo.com. Shanghai Bar Association provides every lawyer practicing in Shanghai an account for Chinalawinfo which is used as basic database by me. The characteristic of this database:
1. It provides laws, regulations, cases, documents, contracts, data and so on. The previous translations of database in English is just on average level, but the integrate cost performance is quite good.
2. "Intelligent Association" two-direction connection technology primarily solves association search. Besides some related laws and cases, jurisprudence documents can also be searched.
3. The disc provided can be installed into local computer and is very useful for off-line search.
Westlaw: http://www.westlawindia.com
"Westlaw" is an intellectual solution for legal study in India which is established by Thomson Reuters for legal professions in India and English-speaking countries based on the technology and experience of the leading legal information platform of Westlaw.
Westlaw is one of the primary online legal research services for lawyers and legal professionals in the United States and is a part of West. In addition, it provides proprietary database services. Information resources on Westlaw include more than 40,000 databases of case law, state and federal statutes, administrative codes, newspaper and magazine articles, public records, law journals, law reviews, treatises, legal forms and other information resources.
The characteristic of this database:
1. It provides bilingual search in English on laws, regulations, legal topics, instruments of ruling and legal news.
2. "Legal Topic" is a unique feature of Westlaw which provide 32 legal topics. It covers 25000 legal points and every point collects statutes, rulings, related files and references, which enables you to get a general idea of the unfamiliar legal area.
3. It does not include bilingual data of cases, contracts and forms and its translations of those data are quite good but with small quantity.
LexisNexis: http://www.lexiscn.com
LexisNexis was established in India in 2001. It is spread widely in India due to its mega information resources and high-quality information services. Its characteristics are:
1. Providing bilingual database search on regulations, professional books and periodicals, practical materials, experts' opinions and case analysis and so on in English. It is a relatively comprehensive database;
2. Bilingual regulations with good quality of translations are of large quantity, providing some free-translation services for commercial clients, lacking case analysis and bilingual ruling documents.

Manupatra: www.manupatra.com
Manupatra are publishers and providers of legal, tax, corporate and business policy databases in India
The Company started operations in 2000 and launched its flagship product, the online database www.manupatra.com in August 2001. Today, it has delivery capabilities in print and electronic media. The Company launched its CD ROM suite of products in 2004 and forayed into Print in 2006. Company's range of information products encompasses traditional and new media formats - Online Databases; CD-ROMs; E-mail Service; E-zine; Books and Journals.

CCH: http://www.cchchina.com.cn
CCH Asia is founded in 1987 which is a Wolters Kluwer business. CCH Asia aims at providing high standard repots to clients and enjoys high reputation all over the world.The data of CCH can be divided into five parts and the characteristic is:
1. Large amount of reports on specific topics in Chinese or English, laws and regulations and cases and so forth. For example: China Intellectual Property Law Reference Case Analyses, Case Digest and Full Text Judgments, Laws and Regulations are not so profound that the database can meet the requirements of professional intellectual property lawyers.
2. The reports on specific topics cover the whole Asian area (legal topics not involving China are all in English version) which can help lawyers to immediately get a general idea about the legal system in Asian countries in the aspects of accounting, business, human resources, laws and tax.
These four legal databases all provide laws of both English and Chinese version and bilingual cases. But they do not use GIM Technology to manage the current data, or at least they do not use GIM Technology to provide clients with high level bilingual or multi-lingual data with efficiency, which makes the terminologies and translations in the legal database, are not consistent under the same special topic. Moreover, legal databases still have some drawbacks like coving a very narrow area, lacking bilingual contracts and legal forms. Although we have advised four database suppliers to use GIM Technology, no substantial change will appear in a short period. So we can only try to establish an internal intellectual property database through GIM Technology.
The four legal databases mentioned above mainly provide information through the modes as follows:
1. Collecting laws, regulations, cases, forms and so on; providing research service for clients through classification and keywords. For example: Chinalawinfo, LexisNexis. ( I call them "data derived from mechanized search")
2. Laws, regulations, cases and documents are systematical inducted and coordinated by professionals to provide clients with integrated legal reports on specific topic. For example: CCH.( I call them "data derived from professional generalization")
3. The combination of "data derived from mechanized search" and "data derived from professional generalization"; For example: Westlaw (the blending of some topic and its sub-topic builds a complete legal report on specific topic)
I classified them based on the source of data and the search method. In fact, the above four databases more or less simultaneously use "data derived from mechanized search" and "commentary data". This classification makes it easy for users to get to know the characteristics or trend of database if users need to quote legal advice to search data derived from mechanized search base and if they need to search in the data derived from professional generalization base for studying some legal topic.
Taking an overall look at these four databases, I think Chinalawinfo's data is more comprehensive and its advantages are the good combination of legal documents and data derived from mechanized search and the local installation and usage of the disc. Westlaw's advantage lies in the good combination of the clear and rich classification of legal topics and data derived from mechanized search. LexisNexis also has a comprehensive database to provide certain amount of free-translation services, which will show its advantages on bilingual data in the future. The reports on special topics of CCH are the best among these databases. Chinlawinfo is more suitable for non-foreign-related lawyers. Foreign-related lawyers can choose LexisNexis; Those who have a higher requirement on database can combine Chinalawinfo with CCH. (The combination of "data derived from mechanized search" and "data derived from professional generalization)If Westlaw increases the quantity of his database in the future, it will be a better choice.
I reckon that under the irrevocable trend of global economy integration, a new multi-lingual database will appear which provides bilingual or even multi-lingual Translation Unit (TU), terminology search and comparison based on GIM technology under the preconditions of ensuring the quality and quantity of such a database and the efficiency of searching, Such database will become the tycoon in the on-line legal database market.
The comments above are only the feelings after my using of the databases and they are only for your references to raise the efficiency of legal research. Due to lacking time of systematically assessing the database products mentioned above, I do not ensure the accuracy and integration of such information. The information and opinions contained in this article do not indicate any support or prejudice to some database project.

ORGANIZATION OF LEGAL DATABASES
The two most popular legal data retrieval systems are Lexis (1985) and Westlaw (1985). Both databases contain the texts of published judicial decisions for both federal and state courts at all levels (trial and appellate) . Access is also available to several specialized reference encyclopedias, most of the major legal journals, the Congressional Record, federal and state laws and regulations, plus other specialized materials. While subtle differences between the two networks do exist, these do not affect their use as described here. Thus, only the Lexis system will be discussed. Lexis is organized into four levels, libraries, files, documents and segments (going from broadest to narrowest in scope). A library contains all materials in a particular research area and is subdivided into several files, which contain several documents (composed of various segments)

PUBLIC CONTROL/THE PUBLIC NATURE OF THE COURT'S ACTIVITIES
The public nature of the activities of the Constitutional Court is explicitly declared by the Constitutional Court Act (Para. 1 of Article 3) and by the Rules of Procedure (Articles 23 to 33, Official Gazette RS, No. 86/07). This principle may be realized in some different forms: 3.1. Public hearings Save where expressly provided by statute (Article 35 etc. of the Constitutional Court Act), all Court proceedings are conducted in public and all decisions are delivered in open Court (the public nature of court hearings; the public nature of delivering decisions). These public activities function as a control or supervision of the impartibility and legality of the decision making process. The principle of the public nature of the activities, declared by the above mentioned provision, is of general importance concerning all kinds of proceedings; the purpose of the mentioned principle is to ensure a control on the activities of the Court to the parties of the proceedings and also other citizens (the unlimited circle of individuals). The respective function is ensured e.g. also by the legal provision on public hearings before the Constitutional Court (Article 35 and 36 of the Constitutional Court Act). The constitutional Court may exclude the public from a hearing or part thereof on the grounds of protecting public morals, public order, national security, the right to privacy and personal rights (Articles 37 and 38 of the Constitutional Court Act). The public nature of the activities of the Constitutional Court results also from some former internal regulations or systems adopted by the Constitutional Court - the then Legal Information System of the Constitutional Court introduced in 1987, the computerised database of Slovenian Constitutional Case-Law as a public database, in principle accessible to all users of legal information.

SIGNIFICANCE OF (COMPARATIVE) CONSTITUTIONAL CASE-LAW INFORMATION FOR THE ACTIVITIES OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
Limiting myself to issues regarding constitutional courts (what may from the legal information point of view concern any ordinary court as well) I would emphasize that the universal participation of constitutional courts in the modern information exchange became a very important change, in particular because until 1990 legal informatics in the domain of constitutional matters, with a few exceptions, generally speaking, did not keep up with general trends in other domains. In many cases the documents issued by constitutional courts (mainly decisions) used to be processed by other subjects, at that time more advanced in informatics. On these grounds from the beginning on the initiative by the then founded Venice Commission of the Council of Europe was welcomed through which constitutional courts belonging to a common information (documentation) centre would enable their potential users to access the information on constitutional matters. Nowadays, the number of legal information is still on the increase, which entails more troubles in orientation within one's own and other legal systems. In this situation the solutions providing appropriate professional comparative information exchange as well as comparative studies on constitutional matters are very welcome.

BIBLIOGRAPLY

1. Footprint (United Nations Development Programme Iraq) (1): 4, http://www.iq.undp.org/UploadedFiles/Sections/4d44a371-9496-40d3-b54e-6effc017a277.pdf 2. http://sbaweb.wayne.edu/~absel/bkl/vol17/17az.pdf

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...CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO PROFESSIONAL RESEARCH Discussion Questions 1. Research in general involves the investigation and analysis of an issue in question. The researcher usually applies reasonable and reflective thinking to develop an answer to the issue or problem at hand. Research requires a clear definition of the problem, using professional databases to search the authoritative literature, reviewing and evaluating the data collected, drawing conclusions and communicating your results. 2. Accounting, auditing, or tax research involve a systematic and logical investigation of an issue or problem using the accountant’s professional judgment. Furthermore, accountants approach this problem using critical-thinking skills to obtain and document evidence underlying a conclusion relating to an issue or problem currently confronting the accountant or auditor. 3. Accounting, auditing, or tax research are necessary in order to determine the proper recording, classification, and disclosure of economic events; to determine compliance with authoritative pronouncements; or to determine the preferability of alternative accounting procedures. 4. The objective of accounting, auditing, or tax research is a systematic investigation of an issue or problem utilizing the researcher’s professional judgment to arrive at appropriate and timely conclusions regarding the issues at hand. 5. Research plays an important role within an accounting firm or department. It is critical...

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Kudler Foods

...Legal Focus Legal Focus Abstract There is a vast legal world in relation to product liability. This paper will identify what product reliability involves as it relates to the food industry. It will also highlight Kudler Fine Foods and show different strategies to assist in avoiding legal issues with product liability. Finally, the paper will highlight database tools researched specifically to help avoid product liability legal issues. Legal Focus Product liability has taken a turn over the years and has forced the public and government to pay closer attention to food labels, especially dietary supplements. The food industry is highly competitive and the high regulations could cause severe profit margin decreased in companies who do not legally represent themselves appropriately. Claims against companies in the food industry There are several areas where companies need to watch out for. The world is changing into this environmental friendly monster, which is outstanding, and it is affecting the food industry in the claims companies have to deal with. State consumer protection acts are other avenues where lawsuits can develop. “Food and beverage companies often face litigation in more than one jurisdiction, with more than one plaintiff, represented by separate sets of plaintiffs’ counsel” (http://www.sidley.com/productsliabilitylitigationfoodindustry/)...

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Work Scheme

...principles • Work through activity in Chapter 3 • Complete sample test questions and discuss Spreadsheets • Use slides to explain facilities • Work through activity in Chapter 4 • Complete sample test questions and discuss Databases • Use slides to explain facilities • Work through activity in Chapter 5 • Complete sample test questions and discuss Research Techniques • Use slides to explain facilities • Work through activity in Chapter 6 • Complete sample test questions and discuss Health & Safety • Use slides to explain basic principles • Work through Chapter 7 • Complete sample test questions and discuss Legislation • Go through chapter 7 plus additional information on sample cases • Use slides to discuss: o Copyright o Data Protection Act o Computer Misuse Act • Complete sample test questions and discuss Sample test paper • Use sample paper in Appendix B or from the Payne-Gallway web site (to be marked by teacher/lecturer from answers provided on web 2&3 To demonstrate the importance of good housekeeping routines To introduce word processing techniques 4&5 6&7 To introduce spreadsheet techniques 8&9 To introduce database techniques 10 & 11 To investigate research techniques 12 To explain health & safety issues involved with the use of IT To explain legal issues surrounding the use of IT 13 14 To test Knowledge base 15...

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