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How AfricanLII
saves its users
$100million*
a year
* At least!
What is AfricanLII?
The users
Impact I: Efficient and effective access to justice
● Lawyer, Kampala-based firm: "[Losing ULII] would
increase cost — cost would probably go back to client."
● Court administrator: "You can attend to more cases in a
day when using Ulii instead of libraries. It does bring costs
down actually."
● Judge: "If Ulii shut down it be like giving a lifeline then trying
to drown you. It contributes to quicker education and making
courts do duties as required."
● Citizens / activists / public discourse
"Losing Ulii would kill a whole
generation of lawyers. I am only 27,
and I would not be able to practice at
all. It is that important. We wouldn't
even know where to start. All people
in this practice use Ulii. Even the older
guys are catching up." Lawyer,
Kampala-based law firm
● Sole commercial provider sells access to
a less complete collection for $300 USD.
● 400,000 ULII users x $300 = $120 million
● Considered inaccessibly expensive for
vast majority of survey respondents -
only 5% of our users ever subscribed.
… multiply this saving across 13 LIIs.
"If you take ULII away it'll be very hard as
alternatives are very expensive and not as
efficient." Lawyer, Legal Aid
Impact II: Free law saves $ millions, levels playing
field
The Funder’s perspective
Impact
LIIs provide services for tens of cents per user that would cost hundreds of dollars from commercial
providers. A 1,000x value return. Free, effective, access to the law is essential for organisations working
in the fields of anti-corruption, environmental protection, human rights, and countless others.
Developing and running a bespoke LII for a single country could easily cost USD $200,000 pa. AfricanLII
supports 13 LIIs and digitizes content from 3 other countries for roughly the same amount of money.
These cost efficiencies are achieved by investing in a community-supported programme with shared
technology, operations, and strategic development. Having decades of experience to tap into speeds up
delivery and effectiveness without compromising local capacity-building.
Evidence-based research demonstrates the clear impact of the platforms and is the basis of ongoing
development and optimisation. The LIIs have clear indicators of success designed in line with international
best practice for the sector.
The Future of Free Law in Africa
● Digitisation & automation of processes from point-of-origin (where possible,
from courts, legislatures)
● Accessibility for non-lawyers and people working in multilingual contexts
● Use technology to facilitate deeper research of the collection & metadata:
supporting cross-border trade & review/update of legislation
● Promote growth & development of African regional and comparative law
(human rights, environmental law)
● Develop sustainable open access policies
● Expand into additional countries incl. non-English content
The Ask
13 LIIs - digitised and opened access to 400k+ documents - credible & deeply entrenched services
We run all of this on a shoestring and can achieve much more if properly funded:
● Annual core costs ~ $150k USD
● Subgrants $85k USD (typical sub-grant to a LII is $15k USD)
● Office space, transport, non-specialised computer equipment contributed by judiciaries and host NGOs
Similar programmes for a single country have cost millions of dollars!
Engage with us to:
● Directly support and grow the core programme
● Support the development of our technology
● Support digitisation & accessibility projects to feed African legal content into aligned programmes
● Promote the use of the African LIIs to an even wider audience
AfricanLII.org
ULII.org

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How AfricanLII saves its users $100million a year - Amy Sinclair (AfricanLII) and Paul Lenz (Indigo Trust)

  • 1. How AfricanLII saves its users $100million* a year * At least!
  • 4. Impact I: Efficient and effective access to justice ● Lawyer, Kampala-based firm: "[Losing ULII] would increase cost — cost would probably go back to client." ● Court administrator: "You can attend to more cases in a day when using Ulii instead of libraries. It does bring costs down actually." ● Judge: "If Ulii shut down it be like giving a lifeline then trying to drown you. It contributes to quicker education and making courts do duties as required." ● Citizens / activists / public discourse "Losing Ulii would kill a whole generation of lawyers. I am only 27, and I would not be able to practice at all. It is that important. We wouldn't even know where to start. All people in this practice use Ulii. Even the older guys are catching up." Lawyer, Kampala-based law firm
  • 5. ● Sole commercial provider sells access to a less complete collection for $300 USD. ● 400,000 ULII users x $300 = $120 million ● Considered inaccessibly expensive for vast majority of survey respondents - only 5% of our users ever subscribed. … multiply this saving across 13 LIIs. "If you take ULII away it'll be very hard as alternatives are very expensive and not as efficient." Lawyer, Legal Aid Impact II: Free law saves $ millions, levels playing field
  • 6. The Funder’s perspective Impact LIIs provide services for tens of cents per user that would cost hundreds of dollars from commercial providers. A 1,000x value return. Free, effective, access to the law is essential for organisations working in the fields of anti-corruption, environmental protection, human rights, and countless others. Developing and running a bespoke LII for a single country could easily cost USD $200,000 pa. AfricanLII supports 13 LIIs and digitizes content from 3 other countries for roughly the same amount of money. These cost efficiencies are achieved by investing in a community-supported programme with shared technology, operations, and strategic development. Having decades of experience to tap into speeds up delivery and effectiveness without compromising local capacity-building. Evidence-based research demonstrates the clear impact of the platforms and is the basis of ongoing development and optimisation. The LIIs have clear indicators of success designed in line with international best practice for the sector.
  • 7. The Future of Free Law in Africa ● Digitisation & automation of processes from point-of-origin (where possible, from courts, legislatures) ● Accessibility for non-lawyers and people working in multilingual contexts ● Use technology to facilitate deeper research of the collection & metadata: supporting cross-border trade & review/update of legislation ● Promote growth & development of African regional and comparative law (human rights, environmental law) ● Develop sustainable open access policies ● Expand into additional countries incl. non-English content
  • 8. The Ask 13 LIIs - digitised and opened access to 400k+ documents - credible & deeply entrenched services We run all of this on a shoestring and can achieve much more if properly funded: ● Annual core costs ~ $150k USD ● Subgrants $85k USD (typical sub-grant to a LII is $15k USD) ● Office space, transport, non-specialised computer equipment contributed by judiciaries and host NGOs Similar programmes for a single country have cost millions of dollars! Engage with us to: ● Directly support and grow the core programme ● Support the development of our technology ● Support digitisation & accessibility projects to feed African legal content into aligned programmes ● Promote the use of the African LIIs to an even wider audience