A Current Awareness Service of
Cornell Law Library

ISSN 1521-9046


Vol. 5, no. 6
November 1, 1999

InSITE highlights selected law-related World Wide Web sites in two ways: as an annotated publication issued electronically and in print; and as a keyword-searchable database.

The law librarians at Cornell evaluate potentially useful Web sites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary and subject access to them. These information can be accessed as following:

Cyberlaw Encyclopedia
Alan Gahtan's Cyberlaw Encyclopedia is a legal portal for information technology, Internet protocol, and electronic commerce information on the Web. Gahtan, a leading Toronto attorney in information technology law, provides links to a broad array of legal websites concerning issues ranging from cyberlaw jurisdiction to cryptography, electronic evidence, cyberlaw regulations, and privacy. Other areas of law covered include securities, computer contracts and license agreements, electronic commerce, and domain names. This is a well-organized, intuitive, website. Within each subject area, links are divided into such categories as statutes, cases, articles, and policy. This site contains a great deal of Canadian information and also provides access to a substantial amount of United States and European information in an easy-to-use menu-driven fashion. The Cyberlaw Encyclopedia appears up-to-date and provides a site search engine capable of phrase and keyword searching using "and/or" connectors. Visitors can also access an information technology and electronic commerce discussion group. Overall, the Cyberlaw Encyclopedia is a well-organized, wide-ranging, legal website which provides access to a variety of significant legal documents.
ELVIL - European Legislative Virtual Library
The European Legislative Virtual Library (ELVIL) is a joint project of Stockholm University, De Montfort University (United Kingdom), and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain). It was developed as a prototype, to serve as "an Internet-based aid for search, selection and presentation of information on European law and politics." The project concluded in July 1999, and is to be succeeded by ELVIL 2000, which will involve additional partners. The prototype consists of three services: the Virtual Library, the Learning Centre, and the Civic Centre. The Virtual Library provides access to three databases: EPOQUE (database of the European Parliament), POLIS (database of the English Parliament), and RIXLEX (database of the Swedish Parliament). A common interface for the three databases has been developed, featuring simple keyword searching, advanced Boolean searching, and browsing. The databases may be searched individually or simultaneously. At the time this review was written, not all of the help files were accessible. The Learning Centre features "virtual cases and lectures" on European Union law, English law, Spanish law, Swedish law and comparative law. The Civic Centre provides email addresses to European government bodies and media outlets. The site has interfaces in English, Spanish and Swedish, but not all documents are available in all three languages.
National Centre for Legal Education
The National Centre for Legal Education (NCLE) is based at the University of Warwick and serves as a forum for law teachers in the United Kingdom. The NCLE's web site offers much information on the organization's projects and activities, such as the Learning in Law Initiative and various workshops. The site also features a number of publications, including an archive of the semi-annual NCLE Newsletter, NCLE teaching and learning manuals, guidance notes, reports, and working papers. Useful links to sites of interest to both students and teachers can be found in the Teaching and Learning Resources section; there is also a section specifically for students that offers career advice. NCLE sponsors a discussion group, LEGALED, and details for subscribing are available online. A new design, as well as a site map and search engine make the site easy to navigate.
Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) is an independent federal agency which functions as an administrative court to decide contests of citations or penalties resulting from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspections. From their website, practitioners and researchers can gain access to the Commission’s rules and regulations, agency decisions, and guides to proceedings geared to the general public. The table of contents at the bottom of the home page also leads to a statement of mission and purpose; press releases; the Commission’s strategic plan; the Commission’s biennial report for fiscal years 1996 and 1997; and a link to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The site is simple and direct, with an obvious link at the beginning of the home page to newly-added and updated materials. Being small, the webpages are easy to browse even though the only navigation link on most pages returns the user to the table of contents. The pages are quick to load due to minimal graphics. This site is well-organized and easy to use, and provides direct access to important legal material in the area of workplace safety adjudication.
Organization of African Unity
Established in 1963 with the signing of its Charter by thirty-two independent African states, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) currently has fifty-three member states.   Among its purposes are the promotion of African solidarity and international cooperation, the defense of members' sovereignty, the eradication of colonialism, and the coordination of member states' economic, diplomatic, educational, and defense policies.   The OAU web site provides abundant information on the major divisions of the organization, including: The Secretary General; the Legal Divsion; the Department of Political Affairs; the Economic Co-operation and Development Department; the Department of Education, Science, Culture and Social Affairs; the Press and Information Division; Department of Administration and Conferences; the Finance Department; and, various commissions, etc.  The site also features fundamental documents such as the OAU Charter and links to a great many Africa-related Internet resources, including those providing country-specific information.  Although a few parts of the site do not yield the expected content (e.g., the French lanuage version is not available), and the press release section appears dated, the OAU site has much to recommend it.

The contents of this publication and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University.

InSITE contributors: B. Kreisler, E. Cooper, E. Krikorian, J. Pajerek (co-editor), D. Smith (co-editor).

©1999 Cornell Law Library