Web Magazine for Information Professionals

JILT: Journal of Information, Law and Technology

Nicola Clare presents the case for an electronic journal in law.

The Journal of Information, Law and Technology is the first journal to be launched under the banner of the Electronic Law Journals project. The Electronic Law Journals project brings together the Law Technology Centre at the University of Warwick and the Centre for Law, Computers and Technology at the University of Strathclyde in partnership. The goal of this partnership is simply to revolutionise legal publishing. The underlying aim of the project is to present suitable articles that are heightened by hyperlinks and accompanying demonstrations where possible. The electronic only medium of presentation will take both types of subject matter and present them in a superior way to plain text on a page. JILT represents the first stage of the overall project to create an interactive electronic legal journal environment with a number of original on-line journals and parallel editions of existing journals. These will be not only IT related law journals but also journals of international relevance.

Alongside the journals there will be interactive discussions where authors, editors and readers can interact and debate articles.

The journal’s subject matter is a mix of articles on IT Law topics such as data protection as well as articles on IT applications relating to law. This has been demonstrated by our first issue which included a downloadable run-time demonstration of a CAL package for teaching students how to write answers to contracts problems. Articles of a non-technical nature benefit from hypertext links to sources such as the Data Protection Act and the European Data Protection Directive.

JILT has published 2 electronic editions to date. We have initially stuck to the notion of issues in our start up phase, however where material ages quickly we can publish it prior to an issue or after. Publishing in issues also means that we able to present a more cohesive body of articles such as those on Data Protection. However we have exploited the fact that we are an electronic journal to date by publishing an article between the two on-line dates. We have also used both issues to take advantage of the electronic medium. Our articles on the European Data Protection Directive have links to source materials, and one of our articles on a CAL package designed to teach law students how to write an essay benefited from 2 types of demo. A downloadable run-time version of the program and on-line imagemaps of selected screenshots of the package.

JILT is the first UK based on-line legal journal relating to all aspects of IT and Law. The fact that it is UK based, should not give the impression that it is solely an outlet for UK contributors. as is demonstrated by our special feature on the European Data Protection Directive which has contributions from Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland. This special feature continued in Issue 2 with a contribution from Belgium. Articles are available from issue lists and subject lists which is a very useful feature of an on-line journal. Author lists are also planned. JILT is not only of use to IT Law academics but is also of use to a wider audience that have an interest - in these increasingly litigious times to legal issues of the Information age such as data protection and copyright.

Published articles in the two editions so far include:

While we have stuck to “issues” for articles our news section and notices of conferences can be updated regularly as and when needed.

All articles are peer-reviewed in the normal way but we are looking to exploit the WWW in publishing Work In Progress articles which throw them open to much wider review. We have just published such an article in our Work In Progress section.

JILT has been well received by readers and has received a lot of positive feedback for its design and layout.

The project is being funded under JISC’s eLib (Electronic Libraries) Programme for three years after which time the journal will be self-financing through subscription.

JILT is edited by Abdul Paliwala, Ian Lloyd Moira Simpson and Andrew Terret assisted by an advisory board of distinguished international legal academics.

Further information is available from the editors email: editor@themis.law.warwick.ac.uk

JILT is available from