Tuesday, 9 October 2007

ALLICE Meeting Minutes: Wednesday 3 October

ALLICE Meeting held at Needham and James in Birmingham on Wednesday 3rd October 2007

1. New members

We would like to welcome the following new members: Barry Vickery (7Side), Zoe Durrant (Cobbetts), Dipti Gohil, Mandy Hulme, Toyin Olanrewaju (Eversheds), and Louise Bowler (Wragges).

2. Membership subscription renewals 2007/2008

Caroline Covington sent Subscription Renewal Invoices in September. Please ensure that invoices are returned and payments are received by Friday 12 October. A new members list will be sent out afterwards.

3. ALLICE conference bursary update

Hilary Boucher and Sue Kendall volunteered to form a conference bursary committee. They will be meeting shortly, and aim to develop selection criteria by the end of the year. They both welcome any comments and suggestions you might have.

4. Birmingham Law Society Library update

Hazel Hewison and Pat Pritchard provided an update on the Birmingham Law Society Library. Members were thanked for their responses to the recent survey. We were warned that the future of the Library is uncertain. Many members are concerned about the possibility of closure. They are frequent users of the service, and have reduced their own collections on the basis of availability via the Birmingham Law Society Library.

There is a meeting at 4.30pm on Tuesday 16 October at the Birmingham Law Society. It has not been widely publicised but Birmingham Law Society members are encouraged to attend. We also discussed organising a petition to Save the Birmingham Library Society Library. However, to observe formal protocol, this will now be delayed until after the meeting.

5. Next meeting

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 12 December at Cobbetts. We are not planning a Christmas social event, but hope to arrange one in the New Year.

6. UK Statute Law Database demonstration

We welcomed Clare Allison and Norman Hodgett of the Statutory Publications Office who spoke to us about the UK Statute Law Database (http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk).

The UK Statute Law Database is a publicly available collection of primary UK legislation. It was launched in December 2006, after 18 years in the planning. It contains the revised text of primary legislation, including useful annotations as to start date and extent. It also includes historic versions of legislation at a given point in time. It has a very flexible search engine, enabling users to search by title, citation and subject, and also date and extent. It has become an increasingly popular tool, with 100,000+ users in August. It has faced criticism for containing out of date legislation. In the future, the first priority is to complete updating the primary legislation, and the second priority is to carry revised secondary legislation.

Some members questioned the waiver of crown copyright for commercial use. Norman said that the information on the OPSI website was misleading, and confirmed that the UK Statute Law Database did waive crown copyright for commercial use.

All members were given a UK Statute Law Database user guide. An electronic copy is also available for members who were not able to attend the meeting. Please contact Jackie Hanes for further information.

Generally members were impressed by the service, as a rival to other government information services, and to the commercial legal publishers.

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