Free Access to Law Movement
The Free Access to Law Movement (FALM) is the umbrella name for the collective of legal information systems projects across many countries to provide free online access to legal information such as case law, legislation, treaties, law reform proposals and legal scholarship. The movement began in 1992 with the creation of the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute by Tom Bruce and Peter Martin. The name Legal Information Institute (and abbreviation 'LII') has been widely adopted by other projects. It is usually prefixed by a country or region identifier. However, many members of FALM used names and abbreviations different from 'Legal Information Institute' or 'LII'.
Note: The organizers of the 2014 Law Via Internet Conference have posted a call for abstracts Call for papers: The organizers of the 2014 Conference on Free Access to Legal have posted a call for abstracts
Members of the Free Access to Law movement subscribe to the Declaration on Free Access to Law.
Membership of the Free Access to Law Movement
FALM has 45 members as of October 2012, as listed on the FALM website. The FALM site also provides the coverage (geographical area or political grouping) for which each member provides databases, and the year in which it became a member of FALM, as well as links to member sites.
The 45 current members are:
- AbyssiniaLaw (AbyssiniaLaw)
- African Legal Information Institute (AfricanLII)
- Asian Legal Information Institute (AsianLII)
- Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII)
- British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)
- Botswana E-laws (Botswana e-Laws)
- Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)
- Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations (Cardiff Index)
- Commonwealth Legal Information Institute (CommonLII)
- CyLaw (Cylaw)
- Institut Francais d’information Juridique (Droit.org)
- Global Legal Information Network (GLIN)
- Hong Kong legal information institute (HKLII)
- Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Information Projects (IALS Information Projects)
- Institute of Law & Technology (IDT) - see UAB Institute of Law and Technology
- Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas (IIJ-UNAM)
- IIJusticia (IIJusticia)
- Irish Legal Information Initiative (IRLII)
- Institute of Legal Information Theory & Techniques (ITTIG)
- Jersey Legal Information Board (JLIB)
- Juristisches Internetprojekt Saarbrücken (JIPS)
- JuriBurkina (JuriBurkina)
- JuriNiger (JuriNiger)
- JurisPedia (JurisPedia)
- Juriste.ma (Juriste.ma)
- Kenya Law Reports (KenyaLaw)
- Korean Legislation Research Institute (KLRI)
- Kathmandu School of Law (http://www.ksl.edu.np/ KSL])
- The LawPhil Project (LawPhil)
- LexUM (LexUM)
- Liberia Legal Information Institute (LiberLII)
- Legal Information Institute (LII (Cornell))
- Legal Information Institute of India (LII of India)
- Legal Information System of the Federated States of Micronesia (LIS-FSM)
- Malawi Legal Information Institute (MalawiLII)
- Namibia Legal Information Institute (NamLII)
- New Zealand Legal Information Institute (NZLII)
- Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute (PacLII)
- Samoa Legal Information Institute (SamLII
- Southern African Legal Information Institute (SAFLII)
- Swaziland Legal Information Institute (SwaziLII)
- Taiwan Legal Information Institute (TaiwanLII)
- Thai Law Reform Commission (TLRC)
- Ugandan Legal Information Institute (ULII)
- World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII)
For details of any additional new members since the date of this list, see the FALM website.
Declaration on Free Access to Law
In October 2002 the meeting of LIIs in Montreal at the 4th Law via Internet Conference, made the following declaration as a joint statement of their philosophy of access to law. There were some further modifications of the Declaration at the Sydney meeting of LIIs in 2003 and at the Paris meeting in 2004.
|“||Legal information institutes of the world, meeting in Montreal, declare that,
Public legal information means legal information produced by public bodies that have a duty to produce law and make it public. It includes primary sources of law, such as legislation, case law and treaties, as well as various secondary (interpretative) public sources, such as reports on preparatory work and law reform, and resulting from boards of inquiry. It also includes legal documents created as a result of public funding.
A legal information institute,
All legal information institutes are encouraged to participate in regional or global free access to law networks.
Therefore, the legal information institutes agree,
Members present at meetings of the Free Access to Law Movement
- Representatives present at the 4th Law via the Internet Conference in Montreal on 3 October 2002:
- Australasian Legal Information Institute
- British and Irish Legal Information Institute
- LexUM/Canadian Legal Information Institute
- Hong Kong Legal Information Institute
- Legal Information Institute (Cornell)
- Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute
- University of the West Indies Faculty of Law Library
- Wits University School of Law
- Representatives present at the 5th Law via the Internet Conference in Sydney, November 2003,
- Galindo, F ‘Free Access to the Law in Latin America: Brasil, Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay as Examples’ in Peruginelli and Ragona (Eds), 2009
- Greenleaf, G 'Legal Information Institutes and the Free Access to Law Movement', GlobaLex website, February 2008 - This article includes brief histories of all FALM Members to 2008.
- Greenleaf G 'Free access to legal information, LIIs, and the Free Access to Law Movement', Chapter in Danner, R and Winterton, J (eds.) IALL International Handbook of Legal Information Management. Aldershot, Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2011 - This chapter updates information about some FALM members to 2011, but is not comprehensive.
- Peruginelli, G and Ragona, M Law via the Internet: Free Access, Quality of Information, Effectiveness of Rights (Proc. IX International Conference 'Law via the Internet'), European Press Academic Publishing, Florence, 2009
- Poulin, D (2004) ‘Open access to law in developing countries’ First Monday vol. 9, no 12, 6 December 2004
- Myers, Linda, Cornell Univ. Chronicle (04/20/00). "CU Law Institute Web Site has Latest Legal Information". Retrieved 2008-06-10..
- See WorldlII
- The amendments were: (i) in the title of the Declaration, `public' was changed to `free'; (ii) the words `where possible' were deleted from the second bullet point `where possible, free of charge'; (iii) addition of the description of a legal information institute and the encouragement to participate in networks; and (iv) addition of the final bullet point about an annual meeting to the list of areas of agreed cooperation.
- The amendments were: (i) the words "It also includes legal documents created as a result of public funding." were added to the end of para 2 after 'boards of enquiry': (ii) the words "To provide to the end users of public legal information clear information concerning any conditions of re-use of that information, where this is feasible." were added to the final list of bullet points.