New Research on the Sustainability of Free Access to Law Initiatives

Isabelle Moncion of Lexum and Mariya Badeva-Bright of the African Legal Information Institute (AfricanLII), have posted Reaching Sustainability of Free Access to Law Initiatives, on the VoxPopuLII Blog, published by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School.

In this post, the authors summarize the key findings of the recently completed “Free Access to Law – Is It Here to Stay?” Project, on the sustainability of legal information institutes (LIIs). The methodology of the project — funded by the International Development Research Centre and conducted by the Chair in Legal Information at the University of Montreal — consisted of case studies of the use and management of LIIs in Burkina Faso, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Niger, the Philippines, South Africa, and Uganda.

In this post, the authors identify key principles emerging from those case studies, and illustrate the potential utility of those principles by reference to the case of AfricanLII.

Among the major findings of the study are that LIIs are more likely to be sustainable when they operate at a jurisdictional level at which revenues can be realized, and offer content and services appropriate to that level; identify core user groups willing to pay for content or services; target content and services to those core user groups; and engage with those core user groups in the development of content and services.

This post will be of interest to the free-access-to-law community, to the legal publishing community, and to advocates of access to justice and to government information, as well as to those who study information and communications technology for development (ICT4D).

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