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2. AustLII's achievements - building blocks of one pLII

AustLII's achievements from 1995-1997 fall into three categories: technical (including content), political and institutional.

Technical / content

AustLII was founded on the assumption that unless we could provide a compelling technical demonstration of how well legal information could be provided via internet, courts and governments would not allow us to use their data.

AustLII's most significant technical achievements have been:

One of half a million sections -

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ta1979350/s7.htmlHypertext links in two definitions in the Telecommunication Interception Act 1987

8 of 39 items found in a Noteup of s7 - http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinosrch.pl?query=ta1979350+s7

Part of the SINO search form, with the most powerful search form chosen

A small knowledgebase, linked to other web pages containing knowledgebases

Part of the user interface, with a link to an AustLII statutory provision

Political - the public policy aspects

AustLII was created in order to convince governments and courts to allows and facilitate free access to Australian primary legal materials. Our `access to law' agenda has always been explicitly political, an attempt to destroy the restricted access to electronic legal information that prevailed from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s. The way in which this has been carried out is discussed in detail in `The Politics of Public Legal Information'[12]http://ltc.law.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/LegInfo/97_2gree/paper4.htm] in the AustLII Papers.

AustLII's impacts in this area have been:


It is arguable that no other country currently has as comprehensive a range of free access legal materials via internet as Australia[13]. AustLII's technical, political and institutional achievements have been the single major contributor to this, although others such SCALE and the NSW Law Foundation have also played vital roles.









[13] The United States and Germany are the other countries that could mount such a case.

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