Joe Carmel, formerly of the U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Computer Systems Unit, has posted LegisLink.Org: Simplified Human-Readable URLs for Legislative Citations, on the VoxPopuLII Blog, published by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School.
In his post, Mr. Carmel describes LegisLink.org, an innovative, collaboratively developed URL redirection service for legislative documents. LegisLink lets developers create short, persistent URLs for legislative materials on the Web. LegisLink URLs have three distinctive features:
- LegisLink enables direct links to segments or subdivisions within a legislative document;
- Humans can readily understand the simple LegisLink syntax, and can quickly learn how to search for legislation using LegisLink URLs; and
- LegisLink URLs can furnish access to multiple versions of a legislative document located in multiple Web domains.
Mr. Carmel’s post offers examples of how LegisLink can help citizens quickly locate bills, public laws, and other legislative information of interest. The post spotlights the three jurisdictions for which LegisLink software has been implemented: the U.S. Congress, New Zealand, and the state of Colorado.
Mr. Carmel’s post also compares LegisLink to other legislative identifier systems — including the THOMAS handle system, URN:LEX, and Citability — and explains how LegisLink differs from them and, in many respects, complements them. The post concludes with an invitation to lawyers, developers, and legal information specialists to participate in the further development of LegisLink.
Mr. Carmel’s post should be of interest to lawyers, developers, and legal information professionals who have expertise in legislation, legislative information systems, or legal identifiers, or who want to improve public access to legislation.