[Fsf-friends] Free the Law
Wed Jun 9 19:47:07 IST 2004
Free the Law: Initiative needed to have indlii.org
I was recently searching for some legal material and landed at
http://www.austlii.edu.au/ - the website of Australasian Legal
Information Institute. The website allows _free_ access to most of
the Australian legal resources, including legislation and decisions of
the High Court of Australia [the Highest court in Australia]. They
have devised standard notation for citing case law that is uniformly
followed througout Australia, with most of the Courts sending in the
judgements and transcripts of proceedings to austlii in standard
formats. Legislation is reported to the site by the attorneys who
represent the state.
Austlii has also led initiatives in England that led to www.bailii.org
Free access is available to all to the legal resources at austlii
In India, NIC has taken several initiatives, and a wealth of
information relating to legislation and case-law are available, but
not everything is free. AFAIK, there are no standard notations that
enable citing case-law published at the NIC servers before the courts.
Again, AFAIK, many proprietary software tools are used in India, in
sharp contrast to Austlii that uses GNU C and has created its own
in-house software to index information.
[ http://www2.austlii.edu.au/%7Egraham/Slides/London/technical.html ]
[ http://causelists.nic.in ]
Austlii also has a worldlii site to provide access to legal
information in other jurisdictions. An initiative to have a site
named indlii on the lines of austlii may help to standardise reporting
of legal information on the internet.
Details about how the austlii project was created, funded and works is
available at: http://www.lawonline.cc/accesslawright.htm under the
title "Free the Law"
Having free and easy access to legal information would be the first
serious step in e-governance efforts. Probably, FSF-India, and a few
law universities in India could take the initiative to move NIC to
create indlii on the lines of austlii, possibly by teaming up together
along with austlii.
More information about the Fsf-friends