Free Law Founders: New group promotes free access to law and citizens’ participation in lawmaking

Free Law Founders — a new organization promoting free online access to law and citizens’ participation in lawmaking — has launched.

Here is a description of the group, from the group’s Website:

Citizens, technologists and public officials working together to transform state & local lawmaking for the 21st Century

The Free Law Founders is a nation-wide, collaborative effort open to all people who want to improve how laws and legislation are produced and presented to citizens of American states and cities. Our goal is to modernize how democracy works in the United States from the ground up. To get there, we’re creating open source tools and open data formats government workers need to get their jobs done efficiently, effectively and accountably. And we’re building digital democracy platforms so citizens can finally access legislative information online in user-friendly, interactive formats that make sense. And we’re making all of our work available on the Internet for any community to reuse at no cost. […]

The founding members of the group include:

The group has opened a project called the Free Law Founders’ Challenge:

You can join the Free Law Founder Challenge: to create a one-stop shop site for legislatures to be more open transparent and tech-savvy before the year is out.

At their keynote speech “Hack The Law” at the MIT Media Lab Legal Hackathon online conference in June 2014, New York City Council Member Ben Kallos and San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell called on a nation of civic hackers to create a free and open source democracy platform for legislatures by next year.

The site will have five free and open source tools for:

  • Drafting legislation
  • Commenting on legislation
  • Making it available over open API
  • Opening up the law online
  • Authenticating the law


Free Law Founders is covered in a new article by Michael Grass in Government Executive: Open Gov Backers Launch ‘Free Law’ Group

For more details, please see the group’s Website.

HT @brianpurchia

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