Law & Justice

Publication Search Results

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  • (2009) Greenleaf, Graham; Paliwala, A
    Book Chapter
    Since the mid1990s the Internet's Worldwide Web has provided the necessary technical platform to enable free access to computerised legal information. In many countries the first attempts to exploit the advantages of the web for providing legal information came from the academic sector rather than government, and did so with an explicit ideology of free access provision. Three LIIs played key roles in early developments: the Legal Information Institute (Cornell), AustLII, and LexUM. This paper analyses the development of the Free Access to Law Movement, and its relationship to the broader development of free access to legal information, concluding that it has not yet achieved its full potential, and suggesting some steps forward.

  • (2009) Greenleaf, Graham; Rüßmann, Helmut
    Book Chapter
    Free-access Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) like AustLII have an increasing wealth and diversity of legal data, including legislation from numerous jurisdictions, decisions of both general and specialised tribunals, and sometimes law reform reports, law journals, treaties etc. This profusion of content leads to problems in precision of searches. One way commercial publishers have dealt with this, and added value to their content, is by creating subject-specific research facilities on topics such as environmental law, IP, criminal procedure etc. The challenge for free-access LIIs is that any such value-adding cannot involve the high costs of constant editorial intervention, nor the commissioning of subject-specific commentaries. This paper explains experiments by AustLII to create useful subject-specific 'Libraries' in areas of Australian law such as indigenous law, taxation and industrial law, and on international and humanitarian law (on WorldLII). The experiments involve methods of identifying and isolating within databases of general content that which is on specified subjects, by largely automated and repeatable means, particularly the use of approximating searches. Methods of testing the searches used to construct Libraries are suggested. Once a subject-specific Library is created, it can be used as a context to provide access to equally specific content provided by search engines or commercial publishers. Systems like WorldLII which draw together the content of many LIIs pose similar challenges at the international level, but may make possible international comparative law facilities.