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eJudgements Search Functionality

Google v eJudgements

A common refrain is that normal search functions will find the same court judgements as eJudgements is doing using a SharePoint site.

That is partially true. For example, you could just type ‘criminal capacity saflii’ into Google and you’d get all the court judgements in Saflii which Google can access with the words ‘criminal capacity’ in them. But, what if the judgement is only in non-readable pdf format, or similar but not the same words are used. Likewise, how do you narrow it down once you get 400 responses?

Using eJudgements To Find Relevant Court Judements

By using SharePoint, eJudgements can add tags to a court judgement, so that a search will (a) be more focused and (b) it will be easier to use the tags to narrow down the search once the initial result is seen. In other words, we have customised the search process to make it relevant to legal researchers.

For example, on the Search page, once you have done your initial search, you will see a number of options appear on the side of the page. These are all the possible tags for the judgements. And they are relevant only to that search. If a case dealt with the Insolvency Act, you will see that appear on the side but you won’t see all the other Acts not relevant to that search. See our demo videos.

We have tagged the cases with a number of categories, including the Court, date of judgement, Judges, counsel, attorneys, subject matter, legislation dealt with, cases considered, type of case, outcome, etc. All of this enables to the user to narrow down the search from the initial search.

Normal search engines don’t do that.

SharePoint also allows you to preview the file without actually opening it. This removes the need to continually open and close documents until you find the one you need.

Another advantage is that you are only searching within judgements and not other irrelevant documents.