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Caselex is a legal information service, established in 2005 by a public-private alliance and supported by the European Commission, offering legal professionals access to the decisive arguments of national court cases to practical legal issues linked to European Union (EU) law. As such it contributes to the Europeanisation of law.
National court cases on EU law
The cross-border connector EU law is a source of law for all Europeans and the case law interpreting the European rules - subsequently relevant to all Europeans. However such has not travelled freely across the borders of the Member States, although there is a strong need.
National to court cases interpreting EU law, and which complements the supply of knowledge found in national oriented services, which Caselex has set out to cover since 2005.
Caselex aggregates through a network of law firms and country correspondents important case law of national supreme courts and last instance courts in Europe, currently 23 countries. The full texts of the selected cases are complemented with headnotes and summaries in English and the native languages of the cases. This effort has provided the service the European Information Association's 2008 Award for excellence in European information provision (electronic sources category)’.
Areas of law
Caselex covers the following areas of law:
- Company Law
- Competition Law
- Consumer Protection Law
- Employment Law
- Environmental Law
- Freedom of Movement Law
- ICT and Media Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- Social Security Law
Caselex, based in Luxembourg, was launched in 2007 as a result of a two year development phase involving stakeholders across Europe. The service is built around a pan-European network of country correspondents, reviewers and translators, all qualified legal professionals.
The development of Caselex has been undertaken by a public-private sector alliance under the coordination of the Italian research institute on legal information management L'Istituto di Teoria e Tecniche dell’Informazione Giuridica (ITTIG) being part of the Italian Nation Research Council (C.N.R.). The alliance has comprised Direzione Generale per I Sistemi Informativi Automatizzati of the Ministry of Justice, Italy, the Centre of Legal Information of the Ministry of Justice of Lithuania, Court de Cassation in Belgium, Le Direction des Journaux officiels (Official Journal) in France, Zenc BV in the Netherlands, First Law in Ireland, Merrill Corporation in the UK, Retriever Norge in Norway. vLex in Spain, Justis Publishing in the UK, and Jsc Leksinova in Lithuania joined at a later stage. The Centre of Judiciary Documentation, which is a technical organ of the Consejo General del Poder Judicial in Spain, has been observer. The alliance created in 2005 the Caselex Association as the operational unit, which was in 2007 turned into Caselex S.a.r.l. in which the two concept developers Stig Marthinsen and Marc de Vries took leading positions.
Due to its innovative nature and importance for lawyers, judges and other legal professionals the service has since 2005 been supported by the European Commission, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), the European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA) and the European Association of Judges, representing jointly more than 800.000 legal professionals in Europe.
The PSI Directive
Directive 2003/98/EC of 17 November 2003 on the re-use of public sector information has had a huge impact on the opportunities to source raw data. Where, some years ago, exploitation of court cases was an exclusive domain of a few oligarchic players, the opening up has led to a substantial increase of economic activities in this field. Caselex is one of the first to seize this opportunity at a pan European level.
- ITTIG's project page on Caselex
- European Information Association Award 2008
- European Union gateway page on Caselex
- European Commission: Making sense of content - quality content for all
- European Commission: One stop shop for case law
- Europeanisation’ of the Law: Consequences for the Dutch Judiciary.
- NRC Handelsblad (http://www.nrc.nl/), "Caselex: googelen voor eurojuristen", 14.2.2008
- Towards a European e-Justice Strategy
- European Company Lawyers Association, The IN-HOUSE COUNSEL, "Caselex", issue July 2006, page 2.
- The Law Society's Gazette, Caselex system set for 2007 launch, 26 October 2006.
- Law Society’s Gazette vol. 103, no. 41, p.15.
- Emmanuel Barthe, Caselex : un nouveau parmi les projets européens de bases de données juridiques, Precisement.org, 10. June, 2005.
- Leo van der Wees, Simone van Esch: "European Law, Caselex, and the PSI directive", Tilburg University research publication, 2005, presented at BILETA 2005, 6 and 7 April, Belfast.
- Maria Angela Biasiotti: "Caselex – Case Law Exchange an Unprecedent Service for the Dissemination of National Case Law Applying EU Law" ITTIG/CNR, Italy. research paper presented at eChallenges 2007, The Hague, Netherlands 24-26 October 2007.