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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 September 2020

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Published by British and Irish Association of Law Librarians


Welcome to the summer issue of Legal Information Management. These are extraordinary times and this issue has been produced during the COVID-19 lockdown, a time when both personal and professional life altered so dramatically for everyone. For those of us who are law librarians, legal information professionals, legal publishers and library suppliers these have been challenging times and the impact of the crisis has been felt across all sectors relating to our business.

This issue of the journal contains articles that were, in essence, commissioned prior to the arrival of the pandemic and the lockdown. The next issue – the autumn LIM – will focus on the challenges and responses to the pandemic with a range of articles written by colleagues working at the forefront of legal information services. As we have progressed through summer 2020, the restrictions around lockdown in the UK have begun to ease but a return to normality will be anything but that; instead, it will be a ‘new normal’. But what will that new normal look like for law libraries and legal information? How has remote working impacted on our profession? How will our services be delivered in the future? These are questions for the next LIM. As for this issue, here is an outline of the content for the summer issue.


We begin with the ‘Occasional series’ heading and a further contribution from Lesley Dingle. Her work with the Eminent Scholars Archive (ESA) was recognised this year as she was awarded the Wallace Breem Memorial Award 2020, an award sponsored jointly by BIALL and the Inner Temple. The latest entry to the ESA forms the basis of her article and is entitled, ‘Conversations with Michael J. Prichard: the Fun of Legal History and the Triumph of Research Over Administration.’


There follows two articles about current issues. Firstly, there is a report containing the results of the recent ‘BIALL Law Firm Library Survey 2019/2020’, drafted by Claire Greening. Then there is a topical article entitled, ‘Artificial Intelligence and Race: a Systematic Review’ by Channarong Intahchomphoo and Odd Erik Gundersen.


The regular feature ‘Focus on legal publishers and suppliers’ has two contributions on this occasion. Firstly, Penny Bailey writes about her company, Bailey Solutions. Her article touches on the current crisis and is called, ‘Responding to Change: Surviving the Financial Crisis, the Pandemic and Everything Else!’ The second article is authored by Masoud Gerami and Aidan Hawes and they give an update on the recent activities and progress concerning vLex Justis with a piece entitled, ‘the Alternative Just Got Better’.


Continuing with vLex Justis, there follows various short articles representing the winners in all categories of ‘The Justis International Law & Technology Writing Competition 2020’. An introduction to the competition is provided by David Hand and Matthew Terrell and then the articles of each winner are printed. The titles, all topical in nature and with interesting perspectives, are: ‘Machine-Learnt Bias? Algorithmic Decision Making and Access to Criminal Justice’ (by Malwina Anna Wojcik); ‘Let Justice be Done Though the Overheads Fall: How Online Courts Promote Access to Justice’ (by Armin Amirsolimani); ‘The ‘Personal’ in Personal Data: Who is Responsible for Our Data and How Do We Get it Back? (by Janis Wong); and ‘502 Bad Gateway: Rebooting Smart Contracts’ (by Alicia Lim). I hope that you enjoy reading each of these short articles. Many congratulations to each of these winners!


Finally, under ‘International perspectives’ there is a piece entitled ‘Collection Development of Legal Information Resources in the Supreme Court of India’ written by Dr. Mohd Muzzammil.


As always, I wish to thank my colleagues on the LIM Editorial Board, in particular the proofreaders. I also wish to acknowledge the work of Katherine Read and Heather Memess who, as usual, have compiled the latest current awareness section. My thanks also go to Craig Baxter, Production Editor for Journals at Cambridge University Press, our publisher.

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