Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, April 17, 2008

More on OA to the primary sources of law

Graham Greenleaf, Philip Chung and Andrew Mowbray, Emerging Global Networks for Free Access to Law: WorldLII’s Strategies 2002-2005, SCRIPT-ed, 5, 1 (2008).  Excerpt:

The main goal of the free access to law movement is to spread free access to such legal information to those countries that do not have it. A by-product of the development of local free access systems should be to prevent provision of a country’s legal information becoming the monopoly of any organisation, whether it be governments, local legal publishers, or international legal publishers.

The secondary goal should be for the local providers of free access to legal information to establish networks which facilitate searches over all of their content, so as to create a facility comparable to the global reach of the multinational legal publishers. This may seem a utopian goal, but some commentators already treat it as plausible, and the network of free access legal information providers has grown to include almost 500 databases of legal materials in less than five years, drawn from 55 countries. This paper focuses on this secondary goal, and is largely about the World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) project, and the context out of which it comes....

Comment.  The same authors published an article with the same title (minus the "2002-2005") in the Journal of Electronic Resources in Law Libraries, vol. 1, no. 1 (2006).  The journal has since been discontinued and the original URL for the article has died.  But see my blogged version of the abstract.