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2.8. Conclusions - Reasons supporting the development of Project DIAL

From the situation outlined in this Chapter concerning the current state of legal research on the Internet, the following conclusions may be drawn.

2.8.1. Conclusions concerning the availability of law on the Internet

2.8.2. Conclusions concerning existing legal research tools on the Internet

These research problems are very substantial even for the most expert `Internet savvy' lawyers and law librarians. They are much worse for inexperienced users.

2.8.3. Conclusions concerning the desirable features of a new approach

The above conclusions support to the approach which has been taken in the development of the Project DIAL prototype, and in related facilities developed for the prototype host, AustLII. This approach to reducing the problems of legal research on the Internet rests on these propositions: The key to effective legal research on the Internet may therefore be a tight integration of an intellectual index and a search engine based on a web spider, a symbiotic relationship in which each builds on the features provided by the other[65].

2.8.4. Recommendation

The Bank should consider a further Technical Assistance to provide better access to legal information via the Internet to Bank DMCs because (i) the current and potential value of the legal information available via the internet is clearly very high, and of particular value to DMCs; and (ii) the existing tools for legal research on the Intenet are inadequate, but methods to improve them have been identified, and these improvements will create effective access for DMC users.

[65] Aspects of such an approach, in a pre-Internet context, are explored in Greenleaf G, Mowbray A and van Dijk P (1995) 'Representing and using legal knowledge in integrated decision support systems - DataLex WorkStations' Artificial Intelligence and Law , Kluwer, Vol 3, Nos 1-2, 1995, 97-124

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