29 August 2007

Laying Down the Law

Those open and sharing memes are spreading like wildfire in the most surprising places - like law, for example. In the US, there are two new important projects to place legal decisions online, freely available to all. There's Carl Malamud's database of legal opionions, and Tim Wu's AltLaw project.

But the thing that interested me most was a comment to the announcement of latter, which pointed out that that these US-based efforts are actually trailing equivalent moves elsewhere. The excellent site World Legal Information Institute has links to over a dozen of them. Shame on me for not discovering them sooner.


Thomas R. Bruce said...

The first American effort in this area was the Cornell Legal Information Institute, which began distributing law freely on the Internet in the fall of 1992, some fifteen years ago. The first of the namesake LIIs was AustLII, a year or two later, followed rapidly by what would become the CanLII project at the University of Montreal.

In the meantime, many other American law schools, including Emory, Georgetown, Rutgers, Washburn University, and the Chicago-Kent College of Law had also mounted free caselaw projects most of which were in full swing by early 1996.

Glyn Moody said...

Thanks for that - I had no idea things went back so far.