Searching Legal Information in Multiple Asian Languages
Legal Information Management, Vol. 13, 2012
19 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 1, 2012
In this article the Co-Directors of the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) explain the need for an open source search engine which can search simultaneously over legal materials in European languages and also in Asian languages, particularly those that require a ‘double byte’ representation, and the difficulties this task presents. A solution is proposed, the ‘u16a’ modifications to AustLII’s open source search engine (Sino) which is used by many legal information institutes. Two implementations of the Sino u16A approach, on the Hong Kong Legal Information Institute (HKLII), for English and Chinese, and on the Asian Legal Information Institute (AsianLII), for multiple Asian languages, are described. The implementations have been successful, though many challenges (discussed briefly) remain before this approach will provide a full multi-lingual search facility.
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