New Report: Free Access to Law: Is It Here to Stay? Environmental Scan Report

A new report on the free access to law movement, entitled Free Access to Law: Is It Here to Stay? Environmental Scan Report (2010) [report URL updated 7 March 2011], has been published by a research team including the following members:

  • Project Director – LexUM: Ivan Mokanov
  • Director of LexUM: Daniel Poulin
  • Research Coordinator – LexUM: Isabelle Moncion
  • Research Coordinator – SAFLII: Mariya Bedeva-Bright
  • Research Coordinator – CIS: Rebecca Schild
  • Free Access To Law Consultant: Tom Bruce
  • Local Researcher – Hong Kong: Tao Zhongyi
  • Local Researcher – India: Prashant Iyengar
  • Local Researcher – Indonesia: Aria Suyudi
  • Local Researcher – Kenya: Esther Nyaiyaki Onchana
  • Local Researcher – Philippines: Michael Vernon Guerrero Mendiola
  • Local Researcher – Uganda: Robert Kirunda

The report was funded in part from a grant from IDRC: International Development Research Centre.

Here is the report’s introduction:

[1] The Environmental Scans are the first component of the “Free Access to Law – Is it Here to Stay” global study on the sustainability of FAL initiatives.

[2] 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. The general hypothesis is that success leads to sustainability. That is, if the free access to law initiative is successful, it will have greater chances of securing funds and ensuring sustainability.

[3] 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.

[4] In order to fully achieve its goals and specific objectives, the study will produce the following outputs:
• Collection of free access to law Case Studies, including a series of Environmental Scans
• Free access to law Best Practices Handbook
• Free access to law Online Library

[5] For the Environmental Scans, Local Researchers were asked to collect data according to the Environmental Scan Matrix (see Appendix 1) 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.

[6] The results of the Scans provided the local researchers with rich knowledge on the field of law and informatics in their respective countries as to customize the study’s interview guides according to local context.

For more information, please see the complete report.

For background, please see Mariya Bedeva-Bright’s post about the project on VoxPopuLII.

HT Michel-Adrien Sheppard.

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