Here is an excerpt from the post:
The International Legislation Unhackathon is being held May 19 at UC Hastings and Stanford Law Schools. Sign up, if you haven’t already, at http://internationallegislation.eventbrite.com/. [...]
The event is designed to be accessible for non-programmers and non-lawyers (hence an ‘un’hackathon) who will ‘get their hands dirty’ adding metadata to actual legislation, using a developing international standard for legislative data, Akoma Ntoso. Future (and previous) posts will discuss such questions as Why Metadata in Legislation? and Why should legislatures use XML standards. You could get started by reading this excellent post by Andrew Mandelbaum of the National Democratic Institute.
Assuming that you agree that metadata and standards for legislation are a good thing, there are still questions of implementation:
(1) At a technical level (does the proposed standard actually match the structure of real legislation ‘in the wild'; is it workable, etc.), and
(2) At the practical level (will legislatures actually adopt the standard, or can the private sector add the metadata post-facto to legislation?).
This unhackathon will be an experiment in both of these elements of implementation. Grant [Vergottini] is developing a browser-based tool to easily add Akomo Ntosa metadata to legislation. The idea is to lower the barrier for anyone to just try it out. It should take no more than 5 minutes to learn how to add the data fields to legislation. Then the real test– how well does the data model fit the actual data of laws? Can it be extended easily, for example to accomodate the requirements of the DATA Act?
For more information, please see the complete post.
HT Ari Hershowitz.