Free Access to Law—Is it here to Stay? An Environmental Scan Report

Posted by Rebecca Schild at Sep 04, 2010 04:35 PM |
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The following is a preliminary project report collaboratively collated by the researchers of the "Free Access to Law" research study. This report aims to highlight the trends, as well as the risks and opportunities, for the sustainability of Free Access to Law initiatives in each of the country examined.

The Environmental Scans are the first component of the “Free Access to Law – Is it Here to Stay” global study, examining the sustainability of Free Access to Law (FAL) initiatives.  The overall goal of this research is to respond to a need to study what free access to law initiatives do and how they do it. This will lead to an understanding of the effects FAL initiatives have on society and to an exploration of the factors determining their sustainability.

For the Environmental Scans, Local Researchers were asked to collect data according to the Environmental Scan Matrix and draft a synopsis of the data, highlighting the trends, risks and opportunities for the field of online legal research publication in general and for the FAL initiative in particular. In sum, the researchers looked at how the individual indicators listed in the Environmental Scan Matrix work together to impact free access to law.  The results of the Scans provided the local researchers and their audiences with a rich knowledge on the field of law and informatics in each respective country examined.

The project covers the following regions: (1) Southern and Eastern Africa, (2) Western Africa, (3) Asia and the Pacific and (4) Canada. In order to complete a cross-case comparative analysis, countries have been selected to represent multiple legal traditions with FAL initiatives at various stages of development.

The report can be accessed here.

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