Challenges for Free Access to Law in a Multi-Jurisdictional Developing Country: Building the Legal Information Institute of India

University of Edinburgh
Publication Type:
Journal Article
SCRIPTed, 2011, 8 (3), pp. 292 - 316
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This article analyses the complexities involved in providing free public online access to the "public legal information" ofthe Indian legal system. It starts with some of the causes of the complexity of Indian legal information then describes the considerable progress that has previously been made in the provision of free access to some types of legal information, but why the result is still below international standards. The article then explains a project to remedy some of these deficiencies, the Legal Information Institute of India (LIJ of India), being carried out by eight Indian law schools and an international partner. It has developed in its first year of public operation, the Lll of India, a system with over 750,000 searchable documents and 151 databases. The considerable remaining challenges for creation of a world-standard and sustainable system are then outlined, and steps proposed to address them. The extent to which this collaborative project might be a model for development of free access to legal information in other countries is considered.
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