Refugee Law Lab: Primary Law as Legal Data (Sarah Sutherland)

Part of the Refugee Law Lab Online Seminar Series

Speaker: Sarah Sutherland is the President and CEO at the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII). Previously she worked as the manager of library services for a national law firm, worked for provincial and federal governments, and a law society library. She is interested in developing a community vision on how to use legal information and technological solutions in ways that leverage emerging opportunities to build useful tools and improve the ways people work. Her book, Legal Data and Information in Practice: How Data and the Law Interact, was published by Routledge in January 2022.

Abstract: Researchers are looking for opportunities for leveraging the primary law as data. This work is anticipated to be transformational, generating new ways to understand legal systems and the law as well as supporting new ways of working. However, it needs to be informed by understanding of the structure of primary law and how the law can be appropriately used. The law has notable attributes which create both advantages and disadvantages. Some of these characteristics of primary law as data can be easily addressed, while some are likely to continue to enhance or limit the use of these datasets into the future.

To register:


Sep 21 2022


2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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