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Legal Information Institutes: What do they offer the SAARC region and regional trade?

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Legal Information Institutes: What do they offer the SAARC region and regional trade? Graham Greenleaf, Professor of Law, University of New South Wales, – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Legal Information Institutes: What do they offer the SAARC region and regional trade?


1
Legal Information Institutes What do they offer
the SAARC region and regional trade?
  • Graham Greenleaf, Professor of Law, University
    of New South Wales, and Co-Director, AustLII
  • International Development Law Organisation
    (IDLO)South Asia Trade Seminar, Sydney, May 2008

2
Outline of presentation
  • Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) and global
    free access to law
  • Free access to law in the SAARC region
  • Demonstration Searching LIIs for SAARC regional
    law
  • Possible future developments

3
What is a Legal Information Institute
(LII)?
  • Legal Information Institutes (LIIs)
  • Provides free and non-profit online access
  • Publishes multi-sourced legal resources
  • Collections, not just its own cases or
    legislation
  • Usually independent of governments - sometimes
    collaboration
  • May be national, regional, language-based, or
    global
  • The Free Access to Law Movement
  • A global association of LIIs from all continents
  • Shares a Declaration of principles
  • A commitment to global collaboration

4
The LIIs of the Asia-Pacific
CanLII - Canada LIICornell - US Federal
AustLII - Australia NZLII - New Zealand
PacLII 20 Pacific Island states (including PNG) HKLII - Hong Kong
AsianLII - 26 other Asian jurisdictions New LIIs emerging - eg LawPhil (Philippines)
5
The global structure of LIIs
6
Who operates LIIs?
  • Universities, as public service
  • LII (Cornell) PacLII, HKLII, AustLII, NZLII,
    LawPhil
  • AsianLII, Droit Francophone, CommonLII, WorldLII,
    jointly for LIIs
  • A non-profit Trust / Foundation (NGOs)
  • BAILII (BAILII Trust members are from Courts,
    Universities, Legal Profession)
  • SAFLII (South African Constitutional Court Trust
    members are from Courts, Universities etc
    mandate to publish decisions from Chief Justices
    of Southern and Eastern African countries)
  • Kenya Law Reports (non-profit government-owned
    publisher)
  • The Legal Profession, as professional public
    services
  • CanLII (Law Societies of Canada with a
    University)
  • Juri Burkina CyLaw

7
Australasian Legal Information Institute
  • AustLIIs Australian operations
  • In operation 12 years since 1995
  • Free-access, non-profit service by 2 Australian
    Law Faculties (UTS UNSW)
  • 252 databases of Australian law
  • 650,000 accesses per day more than all
    commercial services
  • AustLII developed its own search engine and
    mark-up software
  • AustLIIs international role
  • Leading member of the Free Access to Law Movement
  • Since 2000, AustLII has used its software and
    expertise to assist the development of free
    access to law in other countries BAILII (UK),
    PacLII (Pacific Islands), HKLII (HK), NZLII (New
    Zealand) etc
  • CommonLII and AsianLII are the most recent
    example of AustLIIs mission to develop free
    access to law internationally

8
Commonwealth Legal Information Institute
  • CommonLII gives new meaning to common law
  • No longer a one way street from the UK
  • 571 databases from 59 Commonwealth
    countries/territories
  • Most are on existing LIIs, CommonLII is a network
  • Supported by Commonwealth Law Ministers
  • And by most other Commonwealth-wide legal bodies
  • English as the language of the common law
  • Databases are shared with AsianLII WorldLII

9
Asian Legal Information Institute
  • AsianLII - the first Asia-wide law portal
  • Launched in December 2006
  • 189 databases from all 28 Asian countries
  • Key legislation in English from almost all
    countries
  • Over 200,000 cases in full text
  • Also law reform and law journals
  • Over 50,000 page accesses per day
  • Increasing databases in non-English languages
  • Increasingly a network of LIIs as new LIIs form
  • HKLII, PacLII (PNG), soon LawPhil, Thai Law
  • Support from many key regional institutions

10
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11
Free access to SAARC region law - Largest
providers
  • India - Courts Informatics Div., National
    Informatics Centre
  • India Code Indian Courts (SC, 18 HCs, 12 DCs
    and 9 Tribunals)
  • Strength is broad coverage and up-to-date
  • But need to search 20 different databases
    separately
  • Inflexible search engine
  • LawNet SriLanka
  • With World Bank aid, one of the best integrated
    systems in the developing world
  • Smaller systems in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal,
    Butan
  • Problems
  • No region-wide capacity to search for law from
    SAARC countries
  • Lost opportunities for trade, investment and law
    reform research

12
Demonstration SAARC law on AsianLII
  • SAARC pages on AsianLII
  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
  • Allows free comparative law research
  • Example search for laws concerning arbitration
  • Search databases of all 8 countries SAARC
  • Searches legislation all cases etc together
  • Relevance ranking (most important items first)
  • Displays by database, or most recent cases
  • Search other websites (Websearch)
  • Search for what Google can find
  • View catalog of SAARC country websites
  • Can display results jointly or from 1 country
  • This is a prototype for a SAARC LII

13
Future LII developmentsin the SAARC region
  • A SAARC legal information institute?
  • Based in the region, using LII software etc
  • Partner institutions in all SAARC countries
  • To assist capacity building in free access
    resources across the SAARC region
  • Integrated with AsianLII, CommonLII WorldLII
  • Separate legal information institutes for
    individual countries?
  • Sri Lanka has one, one is planned for India
  • A complementary way of publishing the LawNet etc
    data
  • Integrated with SAARC portal, and other LIIs

14
Acknowledgments
  • Funding sources for AsianLII CommonLII
  • AusAID (Australian Dept. Foreign Affairs Trade)
  • Australian Attorney-Generals Department
  • Australian Research Council
  • Development of AustLIIs SAARC resources
  • Prof. Andrew Mowbray, SINO search engine
  • Philip Chung, Executive Director
  • Kieran Hackshall, development of databases
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