LEF grant for BAILII

LEF grant for BAILII

British and Irish Legal Information Institute

Access to Freely Available British and Irish Public Legal Information


Free access to the law via the Internet at http://www.bailii.org/

The British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII), a charitable trust, provides access to the most comprehensive, free and up-to-date collection of British and Irish primary legal materials (currently thirty seven gigabytes) on the Internet.

Free access ? – why, who and how

Why free? BAILII is founded on the simple premise that all citizens (who are deemed to “know the law”) have the fundamental right to free access to all primary legal source materials in as comprehensive and comprehensible a form as possible.  It aims to provide via the Internet the texts of legislation, decisions of courts and tribunals, law reform reports and similar materials which ought to be available for free public access, hyperlinked for ease of cross-reference and intelligently searchable.  The role of the Institute includes encouraging parliaments, governments, courts, tribunals, law reform bodies and other public institutions to make the legal materials which they control available free via the Internet.  BAILII is also involved in promoting standards for the publishing of such legal materials.  It is part of a growing network of such Legal Information Institutes that form a worldwide free public law library.

Who uses BAILII?

BAILII delivers over 5 gigabytes per weekday to its users. BAILII has a broad user community, including educational institutions, the legal profession and business, the general public, government, and overseas users.

Who funds BAILII?

BAILII, based at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, Ireland at University College Cork and in Northern Ireland at Queen’s University Belfast is incorporated as a charitable company registered in the UK. The trustees are members of the judiciary, lawyers and academics.

Funded by the generous sponsorship of the legal professions, charities, public bodies, law firms, legal publishers, multinational companies, university faculties and individuals,  Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service is also a source of funds.

What’s available on BAILII?

Primary materials: BAILII includes 70 databases covering 7 jurisdictions including decisions of the House of Lords and the Privy Council; the Court of Appeal and the High Court of England and Wales; the Irish Supreme Court; the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, Crown Court and High Court of Justice; Scottish Court of Session and High Court; numerous tribunals; the Court of Justice of the European Communities, and the European Court of Human Rights. BAILII also has full-text of legislation, as assented to, from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Secondary materials:  BAILII has a substantial collection of Law Commission Reports and Consultation Papers, plus publications of the Scottish Law Commission, Irish Law Reform Commission, Northern Ireland Law Reform Advisory Committee and Northern Ireland Office of Law Reform.

Open Law Project: Through the JISC-funded Open Law Project, in collaboration with academics, librarians, and special interest groups such as the Society of Legal Scholars and through review of subject syllabi, BAILII compiled lists of leading cases in 16 subject areas.  Over 2,400 of these cases are available on BAILII.

World Law:  BAILII contributes to WorldLII which catalogues and makes searchable via LawCite hundreds of selected British and Irish as well as overseas law sites. BAILII’s home page links to twenty-one Legal Information Institutes and world law resources.

Contacting BAILII

BAILII Office: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR

General contact: joe.ury@sas.ac.uk

Mr Joe Ury- Executive Director,

Mr. Roger Burton West – System Administrator / Developer,

Viky Martzoukou – Project Officer; all are based at IALS.

Please feel free to duplicate and distribute this article. Copies may also be obtained from BAILII.

BAILII Office:

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

17 Russell Square

London WC1B 5DR

Email: joe.ury@sas.ac.uk

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