A world-wide architecture for free access to law

... and beyond: WorldLII?

A distributed search and browse architecture for quality legal information

'Quality' or 'standards-based' legal information

  • open to providers of public legal information conforming to a minimal set of standards
  • a higher quality alternative to standard web-spider search engines (such as World Law)
  • Public Legal Information Institutes (pLIIs)

  • 'Summit' meeting of pLIIs (Cornell, July 2000) - LII Workshop on Emerging Global Public Legal Information Standards
  • Andrew Mowbray and Philip Chung represented AustLII, and will be building part of  the WordLII architecture, as will Tom Bruce of Cornell LII and others
  • Four or five pLIIs from around the world will be involved initially, including Cornell, AustLII, LexUM and Wits.
  • Elements of the proposed WorldLII

  • One or more 'wordlii.org' search interfaces
  • Users do not need to know where databases are located
  • Users can select combinations of databases irrespective of location
  • Citations to cases and legislation will be cross-linked across collections
  • A distributed search system  using query mediators  (diagram by Tom Bruce)
  • searches from a WorldLII site will search multiple collections
  • supports multiple search engines / platforms (index servers)
  • Query Mediators (QMs) translate searches from a WorldLII site into syntax understood by multiple index servers
  • 'URL in, XML out' - interfaces will rank and sort results
  • A distributed citation resolver (diagram by Philip Chung)
  • WorldLII + World Law = One global architecture?

  • WordLII to provide higher quality searching of standards-based collections
  • World Law's web spider to make 'the rest' searchable as best it can
  • The limited search scope filters in World Law could filter results from both WorldLII and World Law collections
  • This is just one possible approach - others will emerge