Authentication of Online State Primary Legal Resources as a Social Justice Issue: The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act and How It Can Benefit Pro Se Litigants
Legal Reference Services Quarterly, Forthcoming
23 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2012
Date Written: May 29, 2012
The American Association of Law Libraries ("AALL") has advocated for years for the adoption of standards to authenticate online state primary legal material. AALL's advocacy led to the enactment of the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act ("UELMA"), which, for the first time, provides a framework for and guidance about how state governments can ensure that their official electronic legal information is authenticated, preserved, and permanently accessible to the public.
This paper provides a brief history of the development of UELMA as context for the argument that the adoption of standards related to the authentication of electronic state legal resources can be considered a social justice issue, particularly for pro se litigants. This paper argues that states should adopt UELMA to ensure that these vulnerable users of legal information have access to authentic and trustworthy electronic versions of the law that governs them.
Keywords: Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act, American Association of Law Libraries, Pro Se, UELMA, AALL, social justice
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