Why Is eJudgements’ South African Online Law Reports Different
eJudgements’ South African Online Law Reports puts all judgements in one database and provides users with a powerful search functionality, with the ability to effortlessly refine searches.
All judgements which are added are tagged according to certain criteria, making it easy to filter the search – for example you can filter a search (or just find all cases within the category) according to the Court, the Judge who handed down a judgement, Subject matter, Legislation considered, Rules of Court considered, the type of case (eg appeal, application for summary judgement, criminal trial, etc), names of counsel, the attorneys’ firms involved in the matter, and many more.
You will also be able to locate legislation which has been declared unconstitutional, cases which have been overturned, etc, by using the filters in the Documents Library.
The commercial publishers only report cases which they regard as ‘reportable’. This is a subjective decision which means that many cases are not made available. While they do produce headnotes, the relevance of the headnote in the modern era where it is easy to electronically scan through a judgement to find out the salient points, is debatebale. eJudgements’ South African Online Law Reports rather focuses on assisting the user to find the relevant cases via searches or queries and lets the user decide for themselves.
The commercial publishers are also exponentially more expensive.
eJudgements’ South African Online Law Reports does not seek to compete with Saflii, but provides a totally different service. While Saflii is doing a magnificent job of making the law freely accessible to all, eJudgements’ South African Online Law Reports makes sense of all the cases which are available by adding the ability to comprehensively search within the mass of judgements. A Google search does not compare to the power of the search facility which eJudgements’ South African Online Law Reports uses.
A graphic interface enables users to determine at a glance if the judgement will be of use to them. Judgements can then be viewed in the browser or downloaded. All judgements are in pdf format. The search criteria will be carried through to the actual judgement when it is opened in a pdf reader online*.
If you want to see for yourself, view the short video, or try out a free 3-day trial.
(* Unfortunately this feature search does not currently work in Google Chrome – the judgement will still be viewed in the browser or can be downloaded but the search criteria have to be entered afresh.)