The state of African Legal Information Institutes
How free access to law online is shaping justice in sub-Saharan Africa
If you wanted to find out what a specific law covered, how would you do it? Google what you thought the law was and hope that it came up in an internet search? Go to the local public library and look for law books? Ask a friend? In many cases around the world, especially in developing countries, it is almost impossible to get access to the law through these channels. Many sub-Saharan African countries do not routinely publish their legislation online, and fewer still publish the case-law judgments made by the courts.
As a financial supporter of a number of African LIIs since 2013, the Indigo Trust, a UK-based philanthropic foundation, commissioned a report to examine the impacts of the LIIs, and whether those impacts could reasonably be amplified with greater investment.
The research identified clear, positive impacts resulting from the existence and use of the LIIs, most notably in South Africa, where the LII proved to be a key tool in increasing access to the legal profession for economically disadvantaged groups. Across the countries studied, the LIIs were also benefiting the development of high quality domestic case law, which had been underdeveloped prior to digitisation; and were considered to be useful tools for citizens in developing a more meaningful understanding of the law.
- Executive summary
- Problem statement
- Research methods
- Literature review
- Case studies
- South Africa
- African LII surveys
- Thematic findings
- Room for improvement
- Critical success factors
- Further research
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Rumbul, R., Moulder, G. and Parsons, A. (2019). The state of African Legal Information Institutes. [online] mySociety Research. Available at: https://research.mysociety.org/publications/state-african-legal-information-institutes [Accessed 13 May 2021].