If you don’t know what is meant by “legal informatics,” I suggest this quote as an oversimplified definition: “Everywhere, more and more courts, legislatures, and agencies are putting information on the Internet in more and better ways using improved technologies.” The quote is from Thomas R. Bruce, cofounder and director of the trailblazing Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. It appeared on his blog recently, part of a thoughtful, longer post about the need for legal information professionals throughout the world to be more directly engaged in a conversation about mapping the future of legal information.
If there is to be such a conversation, it will have to confront a variety of difficult topics — access, transparency, standards, technology, government policies, IP laws and about the roles of government and private commerce. It is a conversation the LII hopes to help move forward with its launch last week of a new blog, VoxPopuLII. Bruce describes the blog this way:
Our new guest blog, VoxPopuLII, is designed to help the conversation along with biweekly posts from folks you may not have heard from before. They’re from all different tribes in all different places on the intellectual and global map. We’ve asked for their big ideas — and if you’ve got big ideas of your own, I’d invite you to get in touch with me about writing something for us. And of course we invite your comments and suggestions about what you find there.
The first post in the series, What is a Legal Information Institute?, comes from Kerry Anderson, deputy director and head of IT for the Southern African Legal Information Institute. The blog promises to be host to a conversation well worth following.