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1.2. Project DIAL - objectives

`Project DIAL' is formally titled `Feasibility Study For Project DIAL (Development of the Internet for Asian Law) (RETA No. 5701)' and described[7]http://www.asiandevbank.org/law/bulletin/bdmcs.htm] as
Feasibility study on the creation of the ADB Development Law Electronic Resource Center (DLERC) to provide electronic (Internet) access by DMC officials involved in the law reform process to (i) full text legislative and regulatory materials drawn from developed countries and developing countries in those areas of law reform currently of greatest interest to ADB's DMCs; and (ii) a panel of legal experts to provide preliminary advice on international experience with such laws and regulations.

1.2.1. Terms of reference

The feasibility study is required to address the following matters (paraphrasing the original terms of reference):

The project also required the development of prototype resources on the Internet to demonstrate the use and value of such facilities to DMCs and to other interested parties.

The terms of reference were clarified in project inception meetings at the Bank in April 1997 between the project consultants and the Office of General Counsel (OGC) of the Bank, and in particular in these respects:

1.2.2. Related ADB projects

The Bank is already involved in a number of projects concerning computerised legal information.

LAW-DEV discussion list

Since February 1996, the Bank has hosted a law and development Internet discussion list, LAW-DEV, to provide an international forum for research, discussion and information exchange `on creating and sustaining legal environments conducive to economic growth and equitable social development in the emerging markets of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union'[9]http://www.asiandevbank.org/law/law&devt/law-dev.htm]. LAW-DEV is an unmoderated list, open to the public, and currently has more than 500 subscribers in over 40 countries. LAW-DEV is discussed further in Chapter 7 in relation to the DIALogue component of Project DIAL.

ADB projects on legal information needs in specific DMCs

The Bank is also involved in projects to develop the legal information resources of specific DMCs. For example, the purpose of the Study on the Legal Information System of PRC (T.A. No. 2707-PRC) is `to assist the Government with publication and dissemination of official foreign language translation of laws and regulations of the People's Republic of China to increase transparency of the legal environment for foreign companies and others interested in trade, investment and other forms of economic exchange with the country.'

1.2.3. Other related projects

Other international organisations involved in law reform are also assisting the development of projects which will assist lawyers in developing countries and elsewhere use the Internet to obtain legal information. A notable example is the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) project at the US Library of Congress, aspects of which involve the World Bank and the Inter-Americas Development Bank. GLIN is discussed in Chapter 2, and involves a different approach to some of the same issues addressed in Project DIAL.




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