Citation Analysis of Canadian Case Law
This study uses simple statistical and functional analysis in conjunction with network analysis algorithms to examine the network of Canadian caselaw using data supplied by the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII). The analysis reveals that indegree centrality and PageRank scores of caselaw within the network are effective predictors of the frequency with which those cases will be viewed on CanLII's website. Further, statistical and functional analysis of network rankings of each case over time suggest that cases typically cease to be cited in 3 to 15 years, depending on the jurisdiction, with the exception of Supreme Court of Canada decisions, which persist for 50 years. The study concludes that roughly 19% of Canada Supreme Court cases remain important despite the passage of time, whereas in all other jurisdiction, less than 3% of cases continue to be cited regularly over time.
Chandler, S.J. (2005), The Network Structure of Supreme Court Jurisprudence, Public Law and Legal Theory Series, University of Houston Law Center No. 2005-W-01. Available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID742065_code254274.pdf?abstractid=742065&mirid=1.
Clark, T.S. and Lauderdale, B.E. (2012), The Genealogy of Law, Political Analysis, Vol. 20 No. 3 pp. 330-331. Print. Available at http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~tclark7/genealogy.pdf.
Cross, F.B. et al. (2010), Citations in the U.S. Supreme Court: an Empirical Study of Their Use and Significance, University Illinois Law Review, No. 2 pp. 489-575. Print. Available at: http://illinoislawreview.org/wp-content/ilr-content/articles/2010/2/Cross.pdf.
Fowler, J.H. et al. (2007), Network Analysis and the Law: Measuring the Legal Importance of Precedents at U.S. Supreme Court, Political Analysis, No. 15 pp. 324–346. Available at http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu/network_analysis_and_the_law.pdf
Fowler, J.H. et al. (2008), The Authority of Supreme Court Precedent, Social Networks, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 16-30. Print. Available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID1008032_code646904.pdf?abstractid=1008032&mirid=1
Geist, A. (2009), Using Citation Analysis Techniques For Computer-Assisted Legal Research in Continental Jurisdictions, Graduate thesis, University of Edinburgh. Available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID1397674_code1087080.pdf?abstractid=1397674&mirid=1
Gerhardt, M.J. (2008), The Irrepressibility of Precedent, North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 86, No. 5, pp. 1279- 1297. Available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2306700
Lupu, T. et al. (2012), Precedent in International Courts: A Network Analysis of Case Citations by the European Court of Human Rights, British Journal of Political Science. Print. Available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID2015331_code1021034.pdf?abstractid=1643839&mirid=1
Malmgren, S. (2011), Towards a Theory of Jurisprudential Relevance Ranking. Using Link Analysis on EU Case Law, Graduate thesis, Stockholm University, Chapter 3.2.1.
Smith, T.A. (2005), The Web of Law, San Diego Legal Studies Research Paper No. 6-11. Available at:
Authors submitting a paper to JOAL automatically agree to confer a limited license to JOAL if and when the manuscript is accepted for publication. This license allows JOAL to publish a manuscript in a given issue, by any means, anywhere in the world. Authors whose submissions have been accepted then have a choice of:
- Dedicating the article to the public domain. This allows anyone to make any use of the article at any time, including commercial use. A good way to do this is to use the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication Web form; see http://creativecommons.org/license/publicdomain-2?lang=en.
- Retaining some rights while allowing some use. For example, authors may decide to disallow commercial use without permission. Authors may also decide whether to allow users to make modifications (e.g.translations, adaptations) without permission. A good way to make these choices is to use a Creative Commons license.
- Go to http://creativecommons.org/license/.
- Choose and select license. Choose "generic" if you are in the U.S. and "text" for JOAL articles.
- What to do next — you can then e–mail the license html code to yourself. Do this, and then forward that e–mail to JOAL’s editors. Put your name in the subject line of the e–mail with your name and article title in the e–mail.
- Retaining full rights, including translation and reproduction rights. Authors may use the statement: © Author 2013 All Rights Reserved. Authors may choose to use their own wording to reserve copyright. If you choose to retain full copyright, please add your copyright statement to the end of the article.