[LINK] OzIT: 'Legal database expands to Asia'

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Tue Dec 12 07:14:03 AEDT 2006

Legal database expands to Asia
The Australian IT Section
Karen Dearne
DECEMBER 12, 2006

AN Australian vision to provide free public access to law resources 
over the internet continues to spread with the launch of the Asian 
Legal Information Institute, a gateway that allows simultaneous 
searching of more than 100 databases.

AsianLII, the latest LII to be spun off from the Australasian Legal 
Information Institute (AustLII), allows users to search national 
databases containing legislation, case-law, law reform reports and 
legal journals from 27 countries.

The website, www.asianlii.org, gives visitors unprecedented access to 
resources from the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Mongolia 
and East Timor through partner institutions.

AustLII co-director Graham Greenleaf says the initial version uses 
English-language databases as a common linguistic platform, although 
national and local language resources will be added over time.

"Getting a search engine to work efficiently over a multiplicity of 
Asian languages is a complex matter," Professor Greenleaf said.

AustLII began developing its own search engine, markup and database 
software more than a decade ago. Along the way, it found others were 
interested in the concept, and AustLII began offering its resources 
to other free access legal groups.

Today it co-ordinates a host of like-minded sites, including WorldLII 
and CommonLII.

"Once we get enough technical co-operation going, we help people set 
up servers and install our software, then we provide training and 
support for as long as it's needed," Professor Greenleaf said. "This 
is a development tool that lets people in developing countries go 
online and find models for legislation and law reform that they can 
use, and it's free."

AustLII co-directors Andrew Mowbray, who developed the search engine, 
Sino, and Philip Chung, who managed interfacing issues associated 
with Asian double-byte languages and non-standard, continue to refine 
and deploy the system.

This week, they are in Johannesburg to help transform the 
four-year-old South African LII into a regional site covering 16 
English-speaking countries in southern and eastern Africa.

Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

More information about the Link mailing list