Project Backgrounder

The Internet is undoubtedly the new frontier for legal writing and scholarship. Most publications and periodicals have taken the digital form, thus heralding the end of an era where print media predominantly influenced and shaped individual and collective consciousness. The Internet has transformed the traditional concept of publication and has become a potent forum for the dissemination and exchange of ideas.

As the leading law review in the country, the PHILIPPINE LAW JOURNAL is moving towards this new frontier. Full digitization of its articles, as well as the creation of an accessible and functional website, will be indispensable in fulfilling the PLJ’s roles as monitor and critic of jurisprudence, as vehicle for the education of the bar and the academe, and as venue for the development of legal writing.

In January 2005, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio (Chair, Vol. 47) conceptualized the PLJ’s comprehensive digitization in collaboration with then U.P. Law Dean Raul Pangalangan and Mr. Oscar Franklin Tan (Chair, Vol. 79). In 2008, the initial phase of digitization commenced under the guidance of then U.P. Law Dean Marvic Leonen. This led to the creation of the first PLJ website, which formed part of the overall online system of the U.P. College of Law.

In December 2012, Justice Carpio initiated and spearheaded a project to launch a new and enhanced PLJ website. The project brought forth a functional and user-friendly website designed to facilitate and encourage legal research and discourse. The new PLJ website features an advanced search engine that permits instant cached topic and author searches, as well as blog-type capabilities that allow the editors to publish articles and posts instantly or at a programmed date. These mechanisms will enable timely discussions of relevant legal issues.

At present, the new website contains digitized copies of articles published in Volume 86, which can be viewed directly on the website or downloaded in PDF format. The PLJ aims to achieve full digitization of all printed articles in the near future. Comprehensive digitization will provide greater access to the PLJ’s rich archive of materials spanning nearly one hundred years of legal scholarship. It will also prepare the PLJ for its incorporation into mainstream English online research services such as Westlaw and LexisNexis.

In her speech at the 2012 PLJ induction ceremony, Ms. Jenny Jean Domino (Chair, Vol. 87) emphasized that the PLJ, as the only state-funded law review in the country, must fulfill its fundamental duty to the nation – to disseminate and cultivate legal knowledge. Justice Carpio, the ceremony’s guest speaker, emphasized the PLJ’s equally important duty of publishing winning legal arguments of Philippine scholars that will influence and shape world opinion and will promote our country’s welfare and interests.

The new website enables the PLJ to perform these duties in a more effective and efficient manner by providing greater accessibility, a user-friendly interface, and state-of-the-art search capabilities. This will help ensure the PLJ’s continuing contribution to the advancement of Philippine legal scholarship.