The Free Access to Law Movement is the umbrella name for the collective of legal projects across several common law countries to provide free online access to legal information such as case law and legislation. The movement began in 1992 with the creation of the Cornell Law School by Tom Bruce and Peter Martin. The name Legal Information Institute has been widely adopted by other projects. It is usually prefixed by a country or region identifier.
Legal information institutes of the world, meeting in Montreal, declare that:
Public legal information means legal information produced by public bodies that have a duty to produce law and make it public. It includes primary sources of law, such as legislation, case law and treaties, as well as various secondary (interpretative) public sources, such as reports on preparatory work and law reform, and resulting from boards of inquiry. It also includes legal documents created as a result of public funding.
A legal information institute:
All legal information institutes are encouraged to participate in regional or global free access to law networks.
Therefore, the legal information institutes agree:
Made at the 4th Law via the Internet Conference in Montreal on 3 October 2002 by representatives of the following legal information institutes:
As amended by the representatives of the following legal information institutes present at the 5th Law via the Internet Conference in Sydney, November 2003:World Legal Information Institute is the umbrella project for all the other LII projects. From the WorldLII website all other databases can be searched. Australasian Legal Information Institute is the project providing Australian and New Zealand legal information. British and Irish Legal Information Institute is the project providing legal information on England and Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, United Kingdom, and the European Union.
It was set up after a long and hard campaign by barrister [Laurie West-Knights QC], Lord Saville and Lord Justice Brooke, who were concerned with the lack of availability of court judgments to ordinary court users and were inspired by the Australian LII.
The importance and volume of English case law in particular, coupled with some long-standing copyright hurdles and initial political scepticism made the achievement of BAILII all the more remarkable. It is now a major international resource of unequalled value.Canadian Legal Information Institute is the project providing legal information on Canada. Hong Kong Legal Information Institute (HKLII - pronounced 'H K Lee') HKLII's mission is to provide free access to primary legal materials from Hong Kong (and some publicly available secondary material through computer technology. HKLII was developed and is jointly operated by the University of Hong Kong's Department of Computer Science and Faculty of Law, with the assistance of the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII). Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School provides free legal information for the United States. It was the original LII project, founded in 1992. New Zealand Legal Information Institute Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute provides legal information on numerous Pacific Islands including American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Island, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Southern African Legal Information Institute