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Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 9 No 1 (2007)

Challenges in Improving Access to Asian Laws: the Asian Legal Information Institute (AsianLII)

Graham Greenleaf is Professor of Law, University of New South Wales, and Co-Director, AustLII.
Philip Chung is Lecturer in Law, University of Technology, Sydney, and Executive Director, AustLII.
Andrew Mowbray is Professor of Law, University of Technology, Sydney, and Co-Director, AustLII.

This article discusses the challenges involved in building the Asian Legal Information Institute (AsianLII), a free access legal research facility developed by the Australian Legal Information Institute AustLII in conjunction with partners in various Asian countries. This focus is on dealing with a region of such linguistic diversity and on the rationale and technical features of AsianLII as well as issues of approaches to partnerships, migration of technology and content control, and sustainability. The article explains that, while the data aggregation on which AsianLII is based has been assisted by the copyright laws of the region and by a centralised approach, the sustainability of AsianLII depends on partnerships and decentralisation. Similarly, while English language materials have been the best starting-point to develop the system, a multi-bilingual approach will be necessary for its longer term development.

 (2007) 9(1) Asian Law 152-175

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