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Law.Gov Report Coming in 2010

Via this post yesterday on the ABA Journal's "Law Libraries" site, we came across the interesting "Law.gov" initiative now underway by an organization called Public.Resource.org.

According to its Web site, Law.Gov is an effort to create a report documenting exactly what it would take to create a distributed registry and repository of all primary legal materials in the United States.The report clarifies that "by primary legal materials, we mean all materials that have the force of law and are part of the law-making process, including: briefs and opinions from the judiciary; reports, hearings, and laws from the legislative branch; and regulations, audits, grants, and other materials from the executive branch."  It is intended to be an open source project that will allow states and municipalities to make their materials available, as well. 

Law.Gov would also provide bulk data and feeds to organizations wishing to build web sites or operate legal information services.  Public.Resource.org. plans to deliver the final Law.Gov report to policy makers in Washington, D.C., by mid 2010.

In a letter dated October 13, 2009, Sen. Joseph Lieberman commended the Law.Gov effort, and expressed his concern with the current state of systems such as PACER. Sen. Lieberman stated that despite a mandate in the E-Government Act to move to a system where information would be freely available to the greatest extent possible, PACER still involves a charge per page and does not allow documents to appear in commercial search engine results. Senator Lieberman pledged that he would provide a copy of the final Law.Gov report to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that he chairs.

Posted by Bruce Carton on October 16, 2009 at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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