Here is the introduction to the post:
Professor Chris Marsden explains what is behind the Openlaws.eu project and explores the current landscape of access to law in the UK.
The law is a slow-moving beast, as are most lawyers (members of this august Society obviously excepted). Yet with more non-professionals appearing before the courts, in an ever more litigious society, but with fewer resources to engage legal professionals, learning something of the law is more important than ever. In a Knowledge Society, citizens can now access information about their surgeon, their school, their university professor, their neighbours – but not the law, with few exceptions. This is untenable; governments worldwide, together with legal professionals and scholars, have in the past two decades made plans to move towards open access to law via the Internet. This article explores how far the English law has moved, and what remains to be done. It concludes by explaining the pan-European openlaws.eu project, which is releasing its beta version in a Salzburg code camp on 20-21 March (the hills may well be alive with the sound of legal hacking). […]