I saw tweets go out this morning that the Canadian Department of Justice had released a public version of Charterpedia. It’s like an online treatise for people interested in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, similar to the U.S. Bill of Rights. It is a resource used in-house by the Government’s lawyers. And as I skimmed through it, I could tell. It’s a good example of how law libraries could help enhance publicly available legal information.
The first thing I noticed was how much stuff isn’t hyperlinked. I expect it’s because the lawyers already know (or no longer need to refer) to certain documents. But there were a lot of cases and both Canadian and foreign primary documents that could benefit from a link for the curious. There were loads of lower court opinions that are publicly available and readily identifiable on CanLII.
The second thing that occurred to me was how, while a web version is nice, it would be great to have an e-book version that someone could, literally, page through. Using a tool like Pressbooks, you can easily build an online publication that can be exported to PDF and ePub formats. I use the open source version of their WordPress plugin to create sample e-books. Here’s the one I’ve started this morning with Charterpedia in it. I appear to have toggled off the export function so it’s web only for now, but I’ll come back to this post in the future – once I’ve fleshed out the sections and finished linking them up – and post the ebook.
Download the unofficial Charterpedia
[not made in association with the Canadian government or, frankly anyone, not for commercial use or re-use, although you should feel free to redistribute it as much as you like] If you are using Microsoft Edge, you may need to right-click the link and choose Save As, since Edge is an ePub reader.