Here are excerpts from the introduction:
The Rule of Law and its protection of human rights is essential to a functioning democracy. The discussion that follows addresses a critical aspect of the Rule of Law and that is the issue of the right of access to legal information. This right is a subset of the right to receive and impart information, but what is of significant importance is the nature of the information that is being imparted and received. It is information about the law – the rules that set the metes and bounds of behaviour in a society and that delineate and define the relationships between citizens and between citizens and the State. […]
The study firstly examines the rationale for access to legal information, using a “law-based” approach. I then proceed to consider the opportunities provided by the Internet in the onset of the digital paradigm, and then consider the concept of access to law on-line and the development of the Free Access to Law Movement (FALM) and the principles that have developed over the years. Based on these principles a distillation of the responsibilities of the State and of redistributors are articulated, and using these principles a matrix is developed by which the performance of State and redistributor obligations may be measured and assessed as a part of a wider measure of the state of Internet freedom in a society. […]
For more details, please see the complete post.