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WorldLII

Use: worldwide database collection.

Use: worldwide database collection.

World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) is an online database providing access to free legal information. It currently has over 1800 databases from 123 jurisdictions worldwide and links to over 15,000 law related websites [Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 2020; Graham Greenleaf, 2010]. WorldLII provides a one stop platform from where a search can be conducted of the contents of this mass of databases [Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 2020].

The information on the site itself is divided by country; database and geographic region, as shown above on the left-hand side [World Legal Information Institute, 2020]. The user can then select the country, databases or region they want to search under and search within that for a specific piece of information they require. Alternatively, the user can access the main search bar on the homepage (shown above) which is more general. However, the best user experience is provided where the user is as specific as possible for information they require and goes through sub-categories to reach it. This can be a major drawback for someone with little legal knowledge, unless they know exactly what they are looking for.

The information provided that is relevant to the UK will largely come from BAILI as this is apart of the Legal Information Institute. However, if a user is trying to find international legal information this source can be very helpful due to its great scope.

As a free database, it compares well in terms of the number of countries covered with commercial options including LexisNexis and Westlaw, but it lacks the depth of information available for certain countries that these paid options provide [Graham Greenleaf, 2010]. However, the user experience is often confusing, and the user interface is not visually appealing.

References

1. Greenleaf, Graham, ‘The Global Development of free access to legal information’, (2010) European Journal of Law and Technology 1(1) http://ejlt.org/article/view/17/39 (Date Accessed: 01/06/2020)

2. Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, ‘WorldLII World Legal Information Institute’ (2020) https://ials.sas.ac.uk/library/legal-databases-and-digital-resources/electronic-law-library/worldlii-world-legal (Date Accessed: 01/06/2020)

3. World Legal Information Institute, (2020) http://www.worldlii.org/ (Date Accessed: 01/06/2020)

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