Officially Mandated Disappearing Information: The Legal Depublication Phenomenon

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2005

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



The author discusses the practice of depublication of judicial court opinions that have been certified for publication and examines the effect on the public record, specifically its law-erasing effect. Conclusion is reached that depublication is harmful not only to legal practitioners but also detracts from the public's access to legal information. Efficiency benefits are outweighed by the disadvantages to the entire judicial system. Recommendations are made that the practice be eliminated or severely curtailed and that depublished opinions be made easily available.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Government Information Quarterly, v. 22, no. 3, p. 423-439.