Current Issue: Vol. 19, no. 4 (November 25, 2013)
A Current Awareness Service of Cornell Law Library
ISSN 1521-9046 RSS FEED [What is RSS?] Printer friendly version
Center for Gun Policy and Research
The Center for Gun Policy and Research is a part of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Its mission is “to reduce gun-related injuries and deaths through the application of strong research methods and public health principles.” The Center examines the public health effects of guns in society and serves as an objective resource for policy makers, the media, advocacy groups, and the general public. The site provides links to the Center’s research publications, journal articles and book chapters. There are useful links under the “Resources” tab to various agencies, organizations, and sources of information related to the work of the Center and to the field of gun violence prevention. These include federal, state, and local enterprises with an interest in gun violence prevention from a public health perspective. Also included are links to health and crime data sources. There is a search box for simple keyword searches of the site, and there are social media links allowing users to bookmark and share the website via email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
[Author: S. Leers]
The Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP) attempts to gather every constitution and constitutional amendment from every country in the world since 1789. Founded by scholars Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg, and James Melton, this project is designed to facilitate the study of the effectiveness and influence of constitutional provisions as well as serve as a repository and aid for nations that are drafting or amending constitutions. This website is the parent site of the Constitute Project (https://www.constituteproject.org/), which provides full-text access and keyword searching for most of the world's constitutions together with constitutional provisions organized by topic. Although the Comparative Constitutions Project website also offers full-text access and searching, it is better used for its other features, including data downloads and many resources on comparative constitutional law. The site has several nice visualization features, including a motion chart showing the frequency of various provisions over time and a chronology of constitutions and amendments by country. Researchers can compare constitutional features such as length in words, number of rights, and judicial independence between and among constitutions using the CCP Rankings table. The “Other Resources” page provides a link to a glossary, an extensive bibliography on constitutional drafting, links to government websites with constitutions, and documents on constitutional design. This page also provides links to other repositories for constitutions and resources and organizations related to constitutional change. The “Publications and Reports” page links to reports, articles, and books written by the site's founders, some of which are protected by paywalls. These resources provide an excellent starting place for further research on comparative constitutions and constitutional drafting.
[Author: I. Haight]
Ravel is a recently launched website (still in beta, in fact) that was developed by two students from Stanford Law School. The interface is clean and the tutorial very helpful. The website provides federal court cases (including the Supreme Court) and maps the citation relationships among them. The search field allows for party, keyword or key phrase searching along with searching with the connector “AND.” While the general search yields results from all jurisdictions, the advanced search allows you to search within selected courts. The results of a search are up to 75 of the leading cases in a map with the x axis being a timeline and the cases visualized as spots (circles) with the more important cases depicted as larger circles (reminiscent of the Justis Precedent Map feature) and lines going between the circles showing relationships of cases. The visualization of the relationships between cases can be reformatted to show clusters, relevance or activities of particular courts. One can click on a circle to freeze that citation map and the other cases involved will be listed in a text sidebar. There is a volume graph that allows one to see the volume of cases handling this topic over time and one can select a portion of it to expand to view activity of the courts in a specific period of time more closely. Full texts of the cases are provided, and the user can highlight portions of the text for note taking. In order to fully take advantage of the site, the user must register (it’s free). The page is optimized for Chrome, and may work less well on some other browsers. It will be extremely useful for both law students and practitioners.
[Author: J. Luke]
InSITE contributors: I. Haight, S. Leers, J. Luke, J. Pajerek (editor)
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