Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Public Resource opens JURIS database

On June 13, Public.Resource.Org announced that it had opened the JURIS database for public use. JURIS is a compilation of 2 million pages of U.S. federal case law, originally compiled by the Air Force (at taxpayer expense) and later took over by the Department of Justice, until it was deleted (in lieu of commercial services West and Lexis-Nexis). The sole surviving copy is held by the University of Pennsylvania and licensed under terms prohibiting redistribution. From PRO's announcement:
We have made the JURIS database available so that you may judge for yourself the importance of these files. ... There is a compelling public policy issue in the fact that the Department of Justice deleted 2 million pages of case law after establishing their for-pay contract with a commercial concern. Why did the government delete such a valuable asset that was created at taxpayer expense? Why would a copy not be kept just in case? Why does the government not have a digital copy of their own work product? These are questions of national concern and the public has a right to examine the evidence.
See also the various past OAN stories about PRO's projects with federal case law.