Compare Canadian Case Citations with Cite-Fight
CanLII recently released an API that allows developers to access metadata on a wide range of Canadian cases, statutes and regulations. In connection with this release, they hosted a hackathon for developers interested in creating applications that made use of the data. One application created at this event was Cite-Fight, which was created by Thom Neale.
Cite-Fight allows users to compare the data about two Canadian cases from the CanLII database and generate graphs and trend information for the comparison. It shows the influence that the case has had on other opinions, as measured by how frequently it has been cited in any given year. Users can select cases to compare by entering CanLII citations, case URLs or by selecting from the list of cases provided, which includes both the top cases and cases with decreasing influence. The results include not only graphs and statistics, but also information on the methodology used for the analysis and a link to the more complete explanation of the methodology on the CanLII blog.
This is an interesting example of what can be made using CanLII’s API and more generally an example of what hackathons and API projects can produce. While this might not be of immediate use to those readers who aren’t interested in Canadian legal research and it is mostly intended to be a fun way of visualizing data, I hope it will serve as inspiration for those who are interested in using this or other APIs to create interesting new applications.