3.8. Conclusions from this Chapter
From the preceding material in this Chapter, we may draw the conclusions set
out below in relation to general access to the Internet in DMCs; Internet
access by Project DIAL audiences; Interest in Project DIAL by its proposed
audiences; Legal information of greatest interest to Project DIAL audiences;
and the significance of the availability of a country's own laws on the
On the basis of these conclusions, we then make recommendations for any
follow-on RETA that the Bank may decide to undertake.
- The overwhelming majority of DMCs of the Bank have Internet connectivity,
so the proposed DIAL facilities are of potential use to DMCs generally.
- The variety and speed of international Internet connectivity from the
seven countries surveyed is such that Internet access to world-wide legal
materials is achievable in practice in each of the seven countries.
- The availability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) providing reasonable
speed Internet connectivity within each of the seven countries surveyed, at
least in relation to major cities, means that effective Internet access is a
reality within these countries.
- Laws and regulations are not a significant impediment to access in any of
the countries surveyed.
- The price of hardware and software necessary for Internet access does not
show a great deal of variation between the seven countries (on average, about
US $1,000), and was rarely mentioned by survey respondents as a major
impediment to access.
- Recurrent telecommunications and ISP charges are most often mentioned by
survey respondents as an impediment to access.
- Among legislative personnel (the primary audience of the project), the
current level of official access to the Internet varies a great deal, ranging
from near zero access to access by about 50% of officials. However, in some
cases a high percentage of officials had their own personal access to the
- In all seven countries there were significant likely secondary audiences
(private lawyers, courts, libraries, law schools, companies involved in
international trade, NGOs etc) for the proposed facilities, but the particular
secondary audiences likely to be interested varied considerably between
countries. In all countries surveyed, with the possible exception of Mongolia,
there were secondary audiences who already have access to the internet. They
constitute a larger likely audience for the DIAL facilities than the primary
audience of legislation personnel.
- Survey respondents from the most likely secondary audiences expressed a
high level of interest in and the DIAL facilities and expectations of their
usefulness. As noted above in relation to the primary audience, this was
despite the lack of any demonstration facilities.
- The extent to which comparative legal materials are used in the law reform
and drafting processes is difficult to ascertain, but officials in all
countries surveyed expressed interest in access to such materials.
- A high level of interest in, and enthusiasm for, the proposed DIAL Index
facilities was typical of the primary audience (legislative personnel) survey
respondents. This was so even though it was not possible for demonstrations of
DIAL to be given to respondents due to the DIAL Index still being under
development at the time of survey (and lack of internet access by respondents
in some cases), and even though the availability of the DIAL Search facility
was not stressed (due to its later development). We expect that the level of
interest would have been even higher if demonstrations had been possible.
- The legislative processes in the seven countries surveyed differ a great
deal, so that decisions about which particular agencies should be regarded as a
priority in facilitating their use of Project DIAL (in terms of their influence
on the legislative process and on their potential to encourage other agencies
in use of DIAL facilities) must be decided on a country by country basis.
- In each country surveyed there is at least one `key legislation agency'
which fits the first of these criteria, including the State Secretariat in
Indonesia, the Ministry of Justice in Vietnam, the Ministry of Law and Justice
in Pakistan, the Ministry of Law and Justice in India, and the Bureau of
Legislation Affairs in China.
- The highest level of interest in legislation-related materials from other
countries, was in access to the texts of the laws themselves. There was
significant and approximately equal interest in access to law reform materials,
official explanatory materials, treaties, and law journals. There was
relatively little interest in access to Parliamentary debates.
- There was interest in the countries surveyed in obtaining access to laws
from a very wide range of countries, including European countries with colonial
and linguistic ties to the countries concerned, the United States, Australia,
countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia undergoing similar transformations
to market economies, other ASEAN countries, China, and India. There was no
interest expressed in relation to the countries surveyed in obtaining access to
laws from Latin American or African or Middle Eastern countries.
- English appeared to be the single language in which access to laws could
be provided which would be of most general value, but there was also interest
in obtaining access to laws in Chinese, Russian, German and French.
- No consistent pattern emerged of the areas of law in which respondents
were interested. The areas most commonly mentioned were banking and finance;
market regulation; infrastructure and privatisation; and intellectual property.
The Bank or the management of Project DIAL would have to make their own
assessment of priorities for the areas of concentration for DIAL Index and DIAL
Search, perhaps guided by user feedback including through the DIALogue facility.
results of the survey of seven selected DMCs are very positive concerning both
the perceived value of the facilities proposed for Project DIAL, and the
potential for its effective use by its target audiences.
- Whether a county's own laws are being made available via Internet is a
matter of considerable significance to the likely use of facilities such as
those in Project DIAL, as it is one of the main determinants of overall
Internet usage by lawyers.
- There are already substantial collections of the laws of China, India and
Vietnam available on the World-Wide-Web, but not yet those of the other four
Almost all of the other DMCs of the Bank have international Internet
connectivity. If the experience of the seven surveyed DMCs is representative,
then we may conclude that the proposed Project DIAL facilities will be welcomed
generally by the target audiences in the Bank's DMCs, and will be capable of
being used effectively across the Bank's membership.