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Access2legislation canada

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Presentation by Ivan Mokanov, Lexum at the Open Legislative Data seminar in Bucharest, 26.02.2013

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Access2legislation canada

  1. 1. Access to Legislation in Canada Ivan Mokanov, Lexum February 2013
  2. 2. “Laws are likesausages — it isbest not to seethem beingmade.”John GodfreySaxe
  3. 3. CANLII.ORG
  4. 4. CanLII.orgThe largest online provider of legal documentsin Canada (among commercial and free)Free for all users, not even a registrationrequiredPublishes laws, regulations, court andadministrative tribunal decisionsDemo
  5. 5. CanLII.org – some more stats14 legislative databases (13 regionaljurisdictions + federal)7,000 current statutes20,000 current regulations
  6. 6. CanLII.org – some more stats200 courts and administrative tribunals120,000 new decisions per year
  7. 7. CanLII.org – some more stats30,000 visits per day20 M pages downloaded per monthAPI now available for third party developers
  8. 8. WHY IS FREE ACCESS TO LAW GOOD
  9. 9. The principleIgnorantia legis neminem excusat
  10. 10. The social dealThe citizens’ obligation to comply with the lawhas as a counterpart the right to know the law
  11. 11. TransparencyThe society has mandated the State to legislateand citizens are entitled to scrutinize theprocess and the result
  12. 12. EconomyAccess to law strengthens legal security forentrepreneurs and investorsIt conveys a message of transparency andpredictability of the legal frameworkKnowing the rules of the game
  13. 13. ResponsibilityThe State has the responsibility to make the lawsaccessibleThe state has always assumed this responsibility indifferent ways
  14. 14. Oyez Oyez!
  15. 15. 2013?With the advent of the Internet and thetechnologies making information publishing amuch cheaper endeavor, the expectations withregards the State’s actions in the field ofaccessibility became much higherNot simply access, but effective access
  16. 16. HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
  17. 17. Who?Free access tolaw is not a one-man show, butrather acollaborativeeffort
  18. 18. Who?The State cannot do all the workThe State needs to be an enabler (in the best case)or should at least not stay in the way (in the worstcase)Creating the conditions for the civil society and themarket to make it happen
  19. 19. 3 ingredients for a successful access to law projectDataExpertiseMoney
  20. 20. DataProviding the data is clearly the State’s role not only froma principle point of view, but also from a practical oneThe state is best-positioned being the source: makinginformation accessible by the source is most cost-effectivePublishing can be attached to drafting systems which arealready in placeThe State is the heaviest user of its own data and has adirect interest in the development of a free accessenvironment
  21. 21. DataAs far as access to data is concerned, non-technical considerations include:Copyright over primary legal documentsPolicy restrictions over distribution imposed bythe data source
  22. 22. DataTechnical considerations refer mostly to:Formats (from least friendly to friendliest):PDF, Word, HTML, XML, APIsOnce the data is managed in a structured way, thecost of delivering it in a structured open format ismarginal
  23. 23. ContentEffective accessEnacted legislation vs. consolidated legislationEnacted legislation is unintelligible withoutconsolidation. Ex:“Subsection 23(2) of the Act is amended by addingimmediately after paragraph (b.3) the following: (b.4) section 17.3;”
  24. 24. Nobody will get hurt from open dataIt will foster innovation on the legal informationmarket - entrepreneursIt will support civil society initiatives - NGOsIt will allow commercial publishing houses to focuson user-facing features, instead of spending moneyto work with poorly formatted data upstreamAccess for citizens will be securedAccess for professionals will be improved
  25. 25. Getting data at CanLII.orgCanLII gathers legislative data in the form ofunofficially consolidated copies of laws madeavailable by all jurisdictions38,000 laws are downloaded each week1,500 contain changes in their text75 of them represent real legislative changes
  26. 26. MoneyAfter the project start, the next step is looking forsustainability modelsCanLII’s model – all Canadian lawyers pay to makeCanLII possibleValue creation and funding go hand in handIn the beginning projects must deliver less with highquality
  27. 27. Sustainability chain Incentive for innovation FAL project has theReinvestment capacity to takes place provide the service FAL produces positive context is outputs and favourable outcomes
  28. 28. Thank you!

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