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Website reviews

1 September 03

Reviews of the Scottish law school websites

by Iain Nisbet

www.law.gla.ac.uk

The University of Glasgow Law School

Glasgow is the pick of the bunch in terms of law school websites. Of course Glasgow, as with all the others, has a wealth of information which may be of use to law students and (in particular) prospective students. However, it is on its usefulness to the practitioner that this review will focus.

The site’s main strengths lie in its sub-sections and daughter sites.

The highest profile example of these is the Lockerbie Trial Briefing site (www.ltb.org.uk). This is a one-stop online resource for all the legal materials you could possibly need in connection with the trial, from the arrest, through indictment and pre-trial procedure (including handy flowchart) to the failed appeal.

Glasgow also hosts the Institute of Law and Ethics in Medicine (www.medlaw.org.uk). Although this is relatively sparse when compared with the LTB site, it does have a useful news section which provides an up-to-date commentary on recent developments in the field, accompanied with relevant links to each bulletin. Glasgow Law School also contributes to the Jean Monnet Program (www.jeanmonnetprogram.org) with academic articles on European law; and hosts a mirror site for the International Court of Justice (www.icj.law.gla.ac.uk).

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www.law.ed.ac.uk

The University of Edinburgh Law School

A close second to Glasgow, Edinburgh law school has by far the most comprehensive set of legal links. These are broken down into 12 separate categories with links for different jurisdictions and links relating to different legal topics. Each link comes with a brief description of the linked site. This is an excellent and most useful online resource for any solicitor.

Edinburgh also has its share of sub-sites, relating to its various research interests. There are, for example, academic papers and research reports from the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime (www.law.ed.ac.uk/ cls/esytc) and journal article abstracts in the Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law (www.law. ed.ac.uk/ahrb) – among many others. This diverse site is also home to the Edinburgh Law Review (www.law.ed.ac.uk/elr) and to Hector MacQueen’s famous Scots Law News (www.law.ed.ac.uk/sln), which is well summarised and regularly updated.

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www.law.strath.ac.uk

The University of Strathclyde Law School

The University of Strathclyde’s law school (my own alma mater) comes third in this survey. It has a reasonable section of legal links and a number of research projects online (although these have less usable content than the two previous sites). There are some interesting online features on the site. The Scots Law Courseware Consortium (slcc.strath. ac.uk) is a web-based learning resource, with questions and online legal texts on each of five topics: husband and wife; parent and child; contract; property; and criminal. However, the user must subscribe and the content has not been updated since June 2002. The university’s Centre for Law, Computers and Technology (www.law. strath.ac.uk/public/studyresearch/comp.asp) boasts a specialised IT law search engine called Phantom. It sounds like an amazing resource, but the link to it is (disappointingly) broken.

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www.dundee.ac.uk/law

The University of Dundee Law School

This website is “under construction” and many of the links do not work. The one section which is complete is the International Water Law Research Institute. Rather esoteric and of limited use to the average law firm.

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www.abdn.ac.uk/~law108

The University of Aberdeen Law School

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cbs1.gcal.ac.uk/law

Glasgow Caledonian University Law Division

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Neither of these sites has much content of note, other than medium sized lists of legal links, covering all the most useful sites.

www.rgu.ac.uk/abs/aboutabs/page.cfm?pge=5852

Robert Gordon University Department of Law

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www.napier.ac.uk/depts/ lawhome.html

Napier University Law Department

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The Robert Gordon  department site is little more than an online prospectus. Worse, Napier  law department’s home page was unavailable when I tried to visit it.