3 January 2014
New entrants in the field of law often find themselves struggling with basic research tools. For the internet raised generation, http://www.pakistanlawsite.com (the “Law Site”) provides an easy, efficient and comprehensive first step to researching law, precedents, judgments, commentaries, articles etc.
Usually law firms and lawyers maintain an account with the Law Site (much like an email account) by making periodic payments for the permission to use the same.
To subscribe for a new account, you have to register on the website.
The details, payment terms and terms and conditions are provided on: http://www.pakistanlawsite.com/RegistrationHelp.asp
If there is already an account maintained then the user may insert the “username” and “password” and tick the box next to “I accept the terms and conditions” on the homepage to login to the website.
Once logged in, the left side of the Law Site offers “Case law Search”, “Advance Search”, “Statute Search”, “Courtwise Search”, “Citation Search” and “Article Search”.
1. Case Law Search
To search the relevant case law on a matter, click the tab “Case law Search” and insert the matter that you require case law on. For example, insert “ultra vires” in the search box and click enter.
The search engine will provide all those cases/judgments that have mentioned “ultra vires” in the document. To get an idea of the judgment read the “Case Notes”, however, it is standard and good practice to read the complete judgment before providing reference to the same.
If you know the particular Section of an Act/Ordinance or Rules or Regulations (the “Statute”), you may access the Statute and click on “Cases” under the relevant Section.
Access to Statutes is provided below.
2. To search for a Statute, click the tab “Statute Search”. The Statutes (Acts, Ordinances, Rules and Regulations) are provided alphabetically. However, if you are unsure about the name, you may search the statute by inserting the year in the search bar.
An easier way is however to type out the statute name (or as much as you know of it i.e. Contract Act Pakistan) in http://www.google.com and find out the correct/complete name of the same including the year. It is then easier to find it alphabetically on the Law Site.
Google also generally has the popular statutes however, the completeness and the authenticity of the same can not be verified. It is often safer to rely on the Law Site.
3. If you are aware of the citation of the case (i.e. PLD 2003 Karachi 1) then you may access the case notes of the judgment in “Citation Search”.
For beginners, the above three (3) provide the easiest and most effective research ability online.
Be sure to always confirm whether a judgment or statute is still valid and always provide the citation of the same.
Myra Khan Qureshi is a Barrister-at-Law from the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn and Vice Chairperson Women Rights Committee of the Lahore High Court Bar Association. She is currently practicing law in Lahore, Pakistan.
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