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FOCUS December 2000 Volume 22


INTERIGHTS is proud to announce the release of the Commonwealth Human Rights Case Law Database.

Containing summaries of recent human rights decisions from national courts in Commonwealth jurisdictions the Database is availa-ble, free of charge, on INTERIGHTS' website at http://www. interights. org.

Through a browse facility and search engine, the Database, which is updated regularly, is searchable under a variety and combination of fields, including by country, date and keyword. Many of the cases summarized are unpublished decisions, which are not readily available in other jurisdictions.

The Database:/ forms part of INTERIGHTS' Commonwealth Human Rights Case Law Programme which also publishes the /I:Commonwealth Human Rights Law Digest:/, a periodical launched in 1996. While the Digest summarizes recent Commonwealth human rights decisions in a traditional printed format, the /I:Database uses developing technologies to provide immediate access to a potentially unlimited audience.

During a series of judicial colloquia, convened by INTERIGHTS and the Commonwealth Secretariat on the domestic application of international human rights norms, senior members of the Commonwealth judiciary recognized the importance of ensuring access to human rights judgments emanating from other national courts. However, the judges noted that access to those decisions was limited by the lack of locally available material on comparative human rights law. As INTERIGHTS was in a unique position to disseminate those human rights decisions, due to the judicial network it had established, the expertise of staff in comparative human rights law and its experience of publishing case reports and human rights materials, most particularly INTERIGHTS' Bulletin:/, they requested it to act as a clearing-house for human rights decisions from Commonwealth jurisdictions. The /I:Database is the latest stage in this important initiative to disseminate comparative human rights case law.

INTERIGHTS, Lancaster House, 33 Islington High Street, London N1 9LH, UNITED KINGDOM

Tel: +44 20 7278 3230 Fax: +44 20 7278 4334