Korea and Expanding Free Access to Legal Information: Experience of the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII)
Korean Bar Association 20th Annual Lawyers Conference, Seoul, August 2010
21 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2012
Date Written: August 30, 2010
This paper outlines the experience of the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII), a free-access and not-for-profit online service provided by two Australian University Law Faculties since 1995, and considers what aspects of its experience may be relevant to expanding free access to legal information in Korea.
The nature of a ‘legal information institute’ (LII) is first discussed. Then AustLII is introduced, explaining that it is the most-accessed Australian website for legal information, with around 1 M accesses per day.
The online free access publication of over 445,000 judgments by 180 Australasian courts and tribunals on AustLII is explained, and how that is maintained. The relationship between the principle of Open Justice and the protection of privacy is discussed in terms of 10 factors that make up the complex Australian approach to dealing with this issue.
Other materials which might be included in a LII (and are included in AustLII) include treaties, legal scholarship and a citator, as well as a broader range of court decisions. The other main issue is the governance, funding and technical models needed for sustainability, and the paper give quite a few models from which to choose.
Finally, the usefulness of multi-country LII portals to Korean researchers is considered, along with the need for information about Korea’s legal system to be better available to overseas audiences interested in Korean law.
Keywords: Australia, Korea, free access to legal information, legal information systems, open justice, privacy
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