-- GrahamGreenleaf - 16 Mar 2021

Introducing the AustLII Papers (16 March 2021)

Welcome to the AustLII Papers, commentary on free access to legal information, particularly where it relates to the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII). Most of the the commentary will be by the directors and staff of AustLII, with an occasional invited guest contributor.

We hope that the AustLII Papers will provide a great deal of valuable information for our users. One purpose will be to introduce new resources on AustLII and its associated international systems, as they are released. Another will be to feature key resources that users will benefit from knowing more about. We will also put our views on important policy issues affecting legal information, including restrictions on publication, monopolistic practices, and government policies on AI and regulation ('Law as Code' etc)..

There are many aspects of AustLII 's resources which are too little known, which we intend to feature in posts to the AustLII Papers. As of today, AustLII provides 860 databases of Australian and New Zealand content, with often comprehensive coverage of case law, legislation, treaties,law reform, law journals and other scholarship – and historical depth to the start of European settlement. AustLII Communities provides additional commentary – including Law Handbooks, textbooks and monographs, and research guides – developed and updated in a closed wiki by 'communities' of authors who collaborate with AustLII. LawCite, AustLII 's unique global automated citator, currently provides citation information on 6,140,051 cases, law reform reports, and law journal articles. DataLex, AustLII 's approach to artificial intelligence and law, has its own legal reasoning software, and we make numerous demonstration applications and teaching tools available.

AustLII is one of the founders of the global Free Access to Law Movement (FALM), and international collaboration is part of its DNA. AustLII 's international work involves the provision of three multi-country portals, in cooperation with other LIIs: the Commonwealth Legal Information Institute (CommonLII), provides search facilities across 1444 databases (via 8 LIIs) from 60 Commonwealth and common law jurisdictions; the Asian Legal Information Institute (AsianLII) has 330 databases from all Asian counties, and the World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) aggregates these and adds other specialised collections such as an International Law Library. WorldLII 's Catalog provides links to legal resources the world over.

These resources are vast, having been developed for more than 25 years, and they grow at a rate of a new databases or other resource every fortnight. We are looking forward to bringing them to light in the AustLII papers.

Philip Chung (Executive Director), Andrew Mowbray (Co-Director), Graham Greenleaf (Senior Researcher), 16 March 2021

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