BAILII - the First 20 Years
Free the Law Meeting at Chatham House
- Website established by AustLII
- Charity registered
- Launch in Cork
- First Board of Trustees
- Sir Henry Brooke elected Chair
- Joe Ury appointed
BAILII transfers to UK servers
Technical Director appointed
BAILII endorsed by SLS, BILETA, NCCL
'BAILII in a Nutshell'
Digitisation and usability pilot projects
13 new databases added
BAILII: How and why it all started by Sir Henry Brooke
Law Commission Reports added
OpenLaw Project started
New interface launched
70,000 unique visitors each month
450,000 page views per week
OpenLaw project completed
959,000 page views per week by 41,000 users
152 law schools link to BAILII
- 8,400 Privy Council decisions added
- BAILII joins roadshows to law schools
Sir Stanley Burnton elected Chair
Added ECHR decisions 1961-1990
- Lord Neuberger gives 1st BAILII Lecture
- Online user survey
- BAILII Twitter
- Professor Paterson gives 2nd BAILII Lecture
- Deputy Director appointed
Lord Dyson gives 3rd BAILII Lecture
Reports of Tax Cases being digitised
- Privy Council Case papers added
- 20,000 Court of Sessions decisions added
Lord Thomas gives 4th BAILII Lecture
Sir Ross Cranston elected Chair
University of London Agreement
- Death of Sir Henry Brooke
- Sir Henry Brooke Lecture by Lord Burnett of Maldon
- Advisory Council formed
- Sir Henry Brooke Lecture by Lord Sales
BAILII 20th Anniversary
BAILII fully operational during lockdown
Free the Law - Joint Evening Meeting on 8 November 1999 (Flier for event)
at 10 St James Square, SW1Y 4LE (Chatham House)
Chaired by Sir Henry Brooke
arranged by the Society for Computers and Law (SCL), Information Technology and the Courts Committee (ITAC), British and Irish Legal Education Technology Association (BILETA), British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL), and Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), in conjunction with Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII).
The meeting was arranged to bring together academics, lawyers, judges, legal librarians and others with an interest in making legal information in the UK more freely accessible via the Web. The main presentation was from Professor Graham Greenleaf, Professor of Law, University of New South Wales and Co-Director of AustLII, on how AustLII had managed to achieve the free availability of legal information on the Internet.
- Stephen Hockman QC, Chairman of the Practice Management and Development Committee of the Bar Council.
- Professor Graham Greenleaf, Professor of Law, University of New South Wales and Co-Director of AustLII.
- Edward Donelan, Office of the Attorney General for the Republic of Ireland.
- Amanda Findlay, Director of Private and Public Rights, the Lord Chancellor's Department
- Professor Abdul Paliwala, University of Warwick.
- Professor Richard Susskind (Chair for discussion)
- Laurence West-Knights, Barrister, Chambers of Harvey McGregor QC, and Vice-Chair of SCL
A full transcript by Smith Bernal is at JILT 2000 (1) - Free the Law Transcript
The 2nd Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement takes place in Sydney organised by the Australasian Legal Information Institute the first LVI Conference was held in Sydney by AustLII in 1997).
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'Early 2000' the BAILII website was established by AustLII as a pilot project.
BAILII, a registered charity, was incorporated on 27th December 2000. BAILII is legally constituted in the UK as a company limited by guarantee (No 4131252) and as a charitable trust (registered charity no 1084803)
Professor John Mee, Dean of the Faculty of Law at University College Cork and BAILII Trustee, issues invitations to the first public launch of BAILII held in April 2000 (flier for the event):
I am the Dean of the Faculty of Law at UCC and I am writing to invite you to the launch of an initiative known as BAILII (the British and Irish Information Institute). The project aims to provide free web access to cases, legislation and other legal material from Ireland and Britain. A fully operational pilot site is already in existence and can be accessed at http://www.bailii.org - I enclose a short document which explains some of the background to the project.
The web-site is being launched in the Council Room, Main Quadrangle, UCC, Western Road, Cork on April 5th 2000 at 5-7 pm. The Honourable Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill of the Irish High Court will be performing the launch and Professor Andrew Mowbray of the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) will be giving a public demonstration of the BAILII site. The launch will be followed by a reception at 6 pm (kindly sponsored by Matheson Ormsby Prentice) in the Staff Common Room, Main Quadrangle, UCC.
The electronic version of the Irish legislation back to 1922, which was available on CD, was converted by Andrew Mowbray at AustLII and put up on BAILII together with some Irish judgments in time for the launch, so that in the earliest days the bulk of the material on BAILII was Irish. Northern Irish material was also good early on, with statutes from 1495-1982 converted from wordprocessed versions that had been generated, thanks to enormous help from Norman Johnston, Head of the Statutory Publications Office of Northern Ireland.
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A server was set up as a mirror at Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, initially to hold the latest material prior to incorporation in the main databases held in Australia.
• Rt Hon Lord Justice Brooke QC, Chairman, appointed on incorporation
• Rt Hon the Lord Saville of Newdigate appointed on incorporation
• C P McRandal appointed 9th February 2001
• J P Mee appointed 9th February 2001
• A Mowbray appointed 9th February 2001
• A A Paterson appointed 9th February
• L J West-Knights appointed on incorporation
• J R Winterton appointed 9th February 2001
Names and some details of present and former trustees and staff: https://www.bailii.org/bailii/personnel.html
First AGM 20th June 2001 is held at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), University of London.
July 2001 Joe Ury appointed as Executive Director
November 2001, Letter of support in a funding application from the Chair of the Committee of Heads of University Law Schools (CHULS):
I am writing in my capacity as Chair of the Committee of Heads of University Law Schools (CHULS) in order to express our support for the bid by the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) for funding from the City Solicitors Educational Trust. We believe that this is an important and innovative project with huge potential to enhance undergraduate legal education.
CHULS represents the 90 or so law schools in the United Kingdom who offer professionally recognised law degrees. We played a key role in the negotiation of the Joint Announcement by the Law Society and the Bar on Legal Education, with its emphasis on more time for the Foundation courses and on the importance of law students acquiring professionally relevant skills in legal analysis and research. We strongly support the BAILII bid precisely because it will make available to our members, free of charge, access to the primary sources of law. This will enable our member institutions to teach their students legal analysis, unhindered by the library resource constraints which have hitherto stood in the way of providing substantial access to primary legal information to large classes of students This project will greatly enhance the training offered by law schools to students in basic legal research and analysis, thus addressing one of the concerns expressed by some of the City firms at the recent Law Society conference on legal education.
The 3rd Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement takes place in Sydney organised by the Australasian Legal Information Institute
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Roger Burton West appointed as Systems Director / Developer July 2002
May 2002: In 2000, BAILII grew to include about 150,000 documents. By December 2001 this had increased to around 275,000.
October 2002 control and data transferred to UK and servers located at IALS
December 2002 'about 6 Gb of legal materials, about 475,000 searchable documents with about 15 million internal hypertext links. Currently delivering about 400 Mb of data per day to its users' (Report for year ended 31 December 2002).
BAILII joins the Free Access to Law Movement. The FALM Declaration on Free Access to Law adopted in Montreal at its annual meeting FALM Declaration on Free Access to Law
WorldLII, to which BAILII contributes, is launched in November 2002 with 891 databases from 128 countries and territories.
The 4th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement takes place in Montreal organised by Lexum.
• C Paul McRandal resigned as Trustee on 15 April 2002
• Laurence West-Knights QC resigned as Trustee on 10 May 2002
• Clive Freedman appointed Trustee on 10 May 2002
• Professor Philip Leith of Queen's University Belfast appointed Trustee on 15 November 2002
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2003 'BAILII in a Nutshell' published including lines by Sir Henry Brooke and figures for usage and data held. The 2012 version is at https://www.bailii.org/bailii/BAILII_in_a_Nutshell.pdf. The earlier version carries this from Sir Henry Brooke:
Why have I always been so enthusiastic about the need for free provision for primary sources of legal information? My answer is that I have always been keen to establish a level playing-field in access to the law. Our great long-established universities have always had wonderful law libraries. So have the Inns of Court and the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh and our leading lawyers' offices in this island and their equivalents in Belfast and Dublin.
But what about the universities which started developing law faculties from 1960 onwards? What about the smaller lawyers' offices, particularly those away from big urban centres? What about the courts themselves, particularly the smaller courts, and judges and magistrates and sheriffs who sit there? What about law centres and pro bono units and citizens' advice bureaux? What about the countries of the Commonwealth, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean, which are desperate to obtain access to UK law texts?
Project Officer (Judgments), Dr Vicky Martzoukou, then a doctoral student at University College London, Faculty of Laws, appointed to process judgments received under the new contract with the Ministry of Justice.
'Tributes' and 'endorsements' are supplied by SPTL now SLS, BILETA, CHULS, and various universities (undated probably compiled early 2003) and by Lord Saville, solicitors, barristers, universities, and the National Council for Civil Liberties.
In December 2003, Sir Henry Brooke announced that the 4th version of the judgment template would start to be used shortly. The template was a major improvement not just for BAILII but generally.
The Annual Report dated December 2003 has details of a survey of users with figures (e.g. 35% of users are in education, of those 74% were undergraduates, ...).
The 5th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement takes place in Sydney organised by the Australasian Legal Information Institute.
• Robin ap Cynan appointed as Trustee on 14 March 2003
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BAILII has now grown to over 50 databases covering most of the decisions from courts and tribunals in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Ireland. We publish all the substantive judgments of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court as soon as they are handed down in court, or (if delivered orally) made available in an approved transcript. We are now also publishing a larger selection of the judgments of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal, the Technology and Construction Court and the Commercial Court.
In conjunction with the relevant court BAILII has been involved with the development of the following Indexes which include summaries of judgments:
• England and Wales - Index of Judgments of Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
• England and Wales - Index of Judgments of Commercial and Admiralty Courts
During 2004 the following databases were started and are now being kept up to date as routine:
• Fair Employment Tribunal Northern Ireland Decisions
• Industrial Tribunals Northern Ireland Decisions
• Northern Ireland - Social Security and Child Support Commissioners' Decisions
• Irish Court of Criminal Appeal
• United Kingdom Special Commissioners of Income Tax Decisions
• United Kingdom VAT & Duties Tribunals Decisions
• United Kingdom VAT & Duties Tribunals (Customs) Decisions
• United Kingdom VAT & Duties Tribunals (Excise) Decisions
• United Kingdom VAT & Duties Tribunals (Insurance Premium Tax) Decisions
• United Kingdom VAT & Duties Tribunals (Landfill Tax) Decisions
• Court of Justice of the European Communities (including Court of First Instance Decisions)
• Nominet UK Dispute Resolution Service
• Special Immigrations Appeals Commission
Several large housekeeping tasks were completed. One such task came about because the courts of Ireland retrospectively assigned their own VNCs to Supreme Court cases back to 2001 and Court of Criminal Appeal back to the start of 2004. This meant that the staff had to do a batch job changing the former BAILII-assigned VNCs into the new official ones.
We have recently sourced funding for the costs involved in two projects:
1. Digitisation/conversion of past years of UK legal materials and of the most often cited UK cases.
2. Improvements to the BAILII search engine and user interface.
During 2004 existing BAILII staff have already started pilot studies for these two projects. The investigation into the feasibility of acquiring the right to source and then including on BAILII these historically significant judgments from all the jurisdictions will be constitute a major advance in the usefulness of BAILII for educational purposes.
The user interface project will be guided by user surveys and usability studies whereas the digitisation project will involve a process of invitation to legal scholars for them to suggest materials that would be essential to their teaching of law.
The 6th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement takes place in Paris organised by ADBS (Association of Specialised Researchers and Librarians) , ADIJ (Association for the Development of Legal Information), and Juriconnexion (Association of Legal Information Users)
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Sir Henry Brooke writes an article in The Commonwealth Lawyer, Vol 14, No 2 (August 2005) at pp 44-47, 'BAILII: how and why it all started', reproduced in his blog at BAILII: how and why it all started'
The OpenLaw Project starts in April 2005 when an agreement was signed by BAILII and JISC, the Joint Information Services Committee of the higher Education Funding Council for funding to create a database on BAILII of the most cited judgments on the core modules of the LLB, https://www.bailii.org/openlaw/ and to enhance the search engine and user interface, work undertaken by Cynthia Fellows and Roger Burton West.
Project Officer, Dr Vicky Martzoukou, appointed to process judgments from the High Court.
Collaboration with the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting to link to ICLR Case Studies with links to purchase from ICLR law report of the selected transcript.
Annual Report for 2005:
BAILII has now become one of the main sources for legal materials from United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Ireland. We publish all the substantive judgments of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court as soon as they are handed down in court, or (if delivered orally) made available in an approved transcript.
As the international community of Legal Information Institutes develops there are more exciting possibilities. BAILII is leading work on an international backup system that will cover us in case of a local system or local internet failure (although to date we have had only 2 hours downtime in five years). The international cooperation of LIIs will also eventually lead to hyper linking to judgments from other common law jurisdictions.
During 2005 the BAILII a large amount of our time, apart from the day to day routine of keeping BAILII up-to-date, has been taken up with acquiring and converting material for the OpenLaw project. This project hopes to digitise and convert past years of UK legal materials and of the most often cited UK cases.
Obtaining the right to include on BAILII these historically significant judgments is, sadly, proving to be very time consuming and so far we have had little success, but we soldier on.
As part of the OpenLaw project substantial work has been done on developing improvements to the BAILII search engine and user interface – this work is still in progress but promises to make BAILII and even more useful website.
The 7th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement takes place in Vanuatu organised by PacLII, the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute, and AustLII
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Annual Report 2006:
Starting in 2005 a large amount of our time, apart from the day to day routine of keeping BAILII up-to-date, has been taken up with acquiring and converting material for the OpenLaw project. This project has so far digitised 371 Law Commission and other law reform documents and 1,430 historical judgments.
As part of the OpenLaw project substantial work has been done on developing improvements to the BAILII search engine and user interface with active engagement of the legal academic community in evaluating and testing the revisions.
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New website interface launched through the OpenLaw Project funded by JISC. There are two major components of the adopted re-design: new versions of the home page, search pages, navigation links, and help pages; and refinements to the search engine.
Annual Report 2007:
Our user population is made up of the general public, those using our materials for academic purposes and those involved in the legal professions. The web site has (on average) in excess of 70,000 unique visitors each month. We thereby contribute to the advancement of education. The legal materials available on our web site assist both legal professionals and advisers in the voluntary sector in providing advice in relation to legal disputes and in relation to human rights. The general public also use our web site to locate materials relevant to human rights and to legal disputes. As a result, our web site assists in the protection of human rights and in the resolution of disputes.
'BAILII – Towards a National Law Library' by Philip Leith, Legal Information Management vol.7, no.1, March 2007, pp.42-45.
• Sir Stanley Burnton appointed Trustee on 15 June 2007
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'BAILII's Continuing Expansion' by Clive Freedman and Joe Ury, Computers and Law, vol.19, no.3, August/September 2008.
Annual Report 2008:
July 2008 saw the end of our OpenLaw project. This project digitised over 2,600 historical judgments and although the project itself is now closed BAILII is still working towards the "freeing up" of more historic judgments for publication on the website.
We are currently averaging from all types of users about 450,000 page views per week. BAILII's 2008 user logs indicated that at least 152 academic institutions in the UK were linking to BAILII.
The 9th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement takes place in Florence organised by the ITTIG (Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques)
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BAILII visits the Privy Council offices in Downing Street and a copy of an extensive collection of decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy is donated for digitisation.
Annual Report 2009:
BAILII continues to be one of the main sources for legal materials from United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Ireland. We publish all the substantive judgments of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court as soon as they are handed down in Court, or (if delivered orally) made available in an approved transcript. We also publish a substantial number of judgments sent to us from other parts of the High Court. During the year we started on a project to digitize 8,400 Privy Council decisions made between 1860 and 1995 this advancing our aim to "free up" of more historic judgments for publication on the BAILII website.
Our user population is made up of the general public, those using our materials for academic purposes and those involved in the practice of the law (including the judiciary). We are currently averaging from all types of users about 959,000 page views per week by 41,000 users. BAILII's 2009 user logs indicated that at least 152 academic institutions in the UK were linking to BAILII. Much of the educational activity was within electronic learning environments, e.g. blackboards, course reading lists with links to BAILII, distance learning programmes, etc.
Survey of user opinions about BAILII website followed by extensive redesign of web page layout and help screen system, 2008/09.
The 10th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement takes place in Durban organised by SAFLII, the Southern African Legal Information Institute
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Annual report 2010:
During the year we finished the project to digitize 8,400 Privy Council decisions made between 1860 and 1995 thus advancing our aim to "free up" more historic judgments for publication on the BAILII website.
We are currently averaging from all types of users about 785,000 page views per week by 40,000 users
BAILII joins the roadshows organised by IALS and starts to give presentations at the various law schools around the UK visited by the IALS team. This is in addition to the regular presentations given to postgraduate students from around the world who make use of the IALS Library. BAILII is regularly visited by other groups of judges, court administrators, government officials, official publishers, etc. for whom presentations of BAILII's work are given and advice offered. In this year groups from, Chile, India, Nigeria and Ukraine were hosted.
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Sir Henry Brooke resigns as Chair of the Board of Trustees on 11 November 2011, an appointment he held since the establishment of BAILII.
Sir Stanley Burnton elected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
We also completed two projects: on 1st February  we added 466 parallel citations for all the reported historic UKPC decisions added to BAILII last year and … reviewed (for formatting and quality) then added or renewed some 200 ECHR judgments …. Since 10 March 2011 we've added parallel citations for over 5,840 cases / decisions. Our total number of parallel citations is about 161,000 individual parallel citations now. [Work mostly done in 2011 and completed by March 2012.]
The 11th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement held in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Legal Information Institute.
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The First Annual BAILII Lecture, No judgment, no justice, hosted by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, was given on 20 November 2012 by Lord Neuberger, the President of the Supreme Court. Full text available on BAILII: https://www.bailii.org/bailii/lecture/01.html
Annual report 2012:
We are currently averaging from all types of users about 1,781,460 page views per week by 58,616 users (a substantial increase from 2011).
Databases of Jersey legal materials in consultation with the Jersey Legal Information Board are built and populated.
'Assessing BAILII in 2012' by Cynthia Fellows, Philip Leith, and Joe Ury, Legal Information Management 12 (2012), 158-164.
Detailed usability report by Cynthia Fellows received June 2012 following user survey and recommendations implemented:
60.8% [of respondents] evaluated BAILII's interface as easy to use, 32% as moderately easy to use, and only 2.2% as difficult to use.
Patrick Torsney establishes the independent BAILII Twitter account @BAILII
A collaboration with ICLR began, providing reciprocal links between judgments on BAILII and the Weekly Law Reports (Daily) case summaries (and access via the ICLR paywall to their law reports).
The ICLR and BAILII collaborate with launch of linked online services
1st October 2012
The ICLR (Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales), publisher of the official law reports, has partnered with BAILII (The British and Irish Legal Information Institute) by linking their two services online to provide a seamless delivery of content to the legal community. The new service launches today.
This service will provide benefits to users of both services. ICLR users will now be able to access the huge database of reported and unreported judgments on BAILII. BAILII users will be able to access at the ICLR summary of a judgment (where one exits) and purchase the authorized case report, or go directly to the authorized case report if already an ICLR subscriber (see for example:  UKSC 37). Users will be able to move from one database to the other whatever your point of entry.
Kevin Laws, CEO of the ICLR, commented "We are delighted to have entered into this key partnership with BAILII as part of our charitable goal to deliver a comprehensive information service to the legal profession. Partnering with another not-for-profit organisation, and also one so widely respected, is a comfortable fit for us and we are confident that we will be able to deliver a nimble and flexible service free of the commercial demands of shareholders. "
Joe Ury, Executive Director of BAILII, said "We are very pleased that this new cooperative arrangement with ICLR will enable us to provide improved facilities for BAILII's users, and assist us in achieving our objective of providing the public with access to primary and secondary legal materials. "
ICLR users will be able to link to BAILII judgments and open them within the ICLR browser, and similarly BAILII users will be able to link to the ICLR site if the BAILII judgment indicates an ICLR law report or a summary exists of the same case. BAILII users will be able to access directly the free ICLR case summaries that are currently available via the ICLR site and guardian.co.uk. They will also be able to subscribe to the ICLR reports via the BAILII site or purchase a PDF of the ICLR reported version of a judgment, which might be needed for court. This collaboration is intended to be mutually beneficial for both organisations but ultimately to benefit the development of the law.
The 12th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement held in Ithaca, New York, by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School.
• Rt Hon the Lord Saville of Newdigate resigned as Trustee on 15 June 2012
• Sir Patrick Elias appointed Trustee on 15 June 2012
• Nicholas Segal of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer appointed Trustee on 15 June 2012
• Guy Beringer appointed Trustee on 16 March 2012
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The Second Annual BAILII Lecture, Decision-making in the UK's top court, hosted by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, was given on 9 December 2013 by Professor Alan Paterson OBE. Full text available on BAILII: https://www.bailii.org/bailii/lecture/02.html
BAILII continues to be one of the main sources for legal materials from United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Ireland. We publish all the substantive judgments of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court as soon as they are handed down in Court, or (if delivered orally) made available in an approved transcript. We also publish a substantial number of judgments sent to us from other parts of the High Court and from the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal and Scottish and Irish judgments as well as decisions of many of the Tribunals.
Deputy Director appointed in September 2013 with the assistance of a Legal Education Foundation grant on a one-year contract.
The 13th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement held in Jersey York, by the Jersey Legal Information Board.
• Clive Freedman resigned as Trustee on 14 June 2013.
• Laurence Rabinowitz QC appointed as Trustee on 15 November 2013
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The Third Annual BAILII Lecture, Criticism of judges: fair game or off-limits?, hosted by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, was given on 27 November 2014 by Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls. Full text available on BAILII: https://www.bailii.org/bailii/lecture/03.pdf
Annual Report 2014:
BAILII was the most popular free legal website according to 70% of the 93 university and college libraries in the UK and Ireland surveyed in September 2013 by Society of Legal Scholars and British and Irish Association of Law Librarians. Several changes to the administration of justice have increased the number of self-litigants thereby the numbers of people depending on BAILII's free access to judgments. BAILII continues to add to significant historical judgments with the scanning of the Tax Cases law report series. The England and Wales Family and Court of Protection courts have increased considerably the number of judgments sent to BAILII for publication. BAILII was able to have an additional staff member (funded for a one year period) starting from March 2014.
The 14th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement was held in Cape Town by the Southern African Legal Information Institute , Kenya Law and the African Legal Information institute
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In collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London. case papers from the IALS collection of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Papers from 1930 -1985 (effectively a full paper set from 1950 to 1985) and some selected papers from earlier judgments of special interest to researchers were included in the project. Over 5,000 searchable PDFs were created involving more than 317,000 page scans. The digitised papers (case for the appellant, case for the respondent, record of proceedings, factums and appendices) are available as searchable PDF files alongside the judgments already freely available on BAILII, http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKPC/
Over 20,000 Scottish Court of Sessions reports were loaded with the kind assistance and collaboration of the Scottish Council of Law Reporting. SCLR notes that BAILII includes a very comprehensive database of early (pre-1808) Scottish law reports gathered from Morison's Dictionary and other sources; …. See https://www.bailii.org/scot/cases/HSLR.html for details including a subject index.
BAILII cooperated with the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales in publishing about fifty historic judgments which were voted by their users as the most notable.
The 15th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement was held in Sydney by the Australasian Legal Information Institute.
The work to include judgments from the Reports of Tax Cases continued.
• Robin ap Cynan, Solicitor, resigned as Trustee on 9 October 2015
• Professor John Mee of University College Cork resigned as Trustee on 13 March 2015
• Andrea Coomber, Director of Justice, appointed Trustee on 12 June 2015
• Dr Patrick O'Callaghan, University College Cork, appointed Trustee on 13 March 2015
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The Fourth BAILII Lecture, Developing commercial law through the courts: rebalancing the relationship between the courts and arbitration, hosted by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, was given on 9 March 2016 by The Right Hon. The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. Full text available on BAILII: https://www.bailii.org/bailii/lecture/04.pdf
A Strategic Review of BAILII was conducted and a special meeting of the Board of Trustees held. Various options including a proposal for a closer collaboration of BAILII with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, were discussed.
The 16th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement was held in Limassol by Cylaw.
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BAILII, based at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London since inception, signs a new agreement with the University of London in October 2017 in particular to collaborate with its Development Office, giving access to professional fundraising services.
The 17th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement was held in Newark, New Jersey, by Rutgers Law Library, Rutgers University School of Law.
• Sir Stanley Burnton resigned as Trustee and Chair of the Board of Trustees, July 2017
• Sir Patrick Elias resigned as Trustee on 8 June 2017
• Professor Philip Leith of Queen's University Belfast resigned as Trustee on 1 November 2017
• Sir Ross Cranston appointed as Trustee on 9th June 2017; elected Chair of the Board of Trustees July 2017
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Sir Henry Brooke, first Chair of the BAILII Board of Trustees, died in January 2018. Sir Henry Brooke: Musings, Memories and Miscellanea at https://sirhenrybrooke.me/. Guardian obituary at https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018/feb/06/sir-henry-brooke-obituary; Telegraph obituary at https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2018/02/18/sir-henry-brooke-court-appeal-judge-obituary/; Times obituary at https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sir-henry-brooke-obituary-6jltb3cjq. The BAILII Annual Lecture renamed as the Sir Henry Brooke Lecture.
The Sir Henry Brooke Lecture (Fifth BAILII Lecture), The Age of Reform, hosted by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, was given on 7 June 2018 by the Lord Chief Justice the Rt Hon. The Lord Burnett of Maldon. Full text available on BAILII: https://www.bailii.org/bailii/lecture/2018/
The Legal Education Foundation awards a grant of £90,000 over two years [2019 and 2020] to achieve sustainability following a report by management consultants Social Finance.
The 18th Law via the Internet Conference under the auspices of the Free Access to Law Movement was held in Florence organised by the ITTIG (Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques) .
• Professor Andrew Mowbray, co-Director of AUSTLII, resigned as Trustee on 16 March 2018.
• Professor Alan Paterson of the University of Strathclyde resigned as Trustee on 16 March 2018
• Jules Winterton of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, resigned as Trustee on 16 March 2018
• Professor Diamond Ashiagbor, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, subsequently University of Kent at Canterbury, appointed Trustee on 16 March 2016
• Professor Philip Chung, Executive Director of AustLII, appointed Trustee on 16 March 2018
• Dame Maura McGowan, High Court Judge, appointed Trustee on 16 March 2018
• Rachel Wood, Solicitor, appointed Trustee on 16 March 2018
• Dr Nóra Ni Loideain, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, appointed Trustee on 8 November 2018
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The start of the grant from the Legal Education Foundation enables the appointment of a part-time consultant to implement and oversee strategic planning; Jules Winterton, former Director of IALS, appointed from January 2019. Dr Ann Hale appointed as part-time Executive Officer in October 2019.
An Advisory Council was formed to support the Board of Trustees. BAILII convened a group to advise it on strategy and support it in promoting the BAILII service and to contribute to BAILII activities. Members of the AC are drawn from a range of stakeholders including users, content specialists, supporters, and donors. The group first met on 12th November 2019, the day of the Sir Henry Brooke Lecture. Current membership is listed at https://www.bailii.org/bailii/personnel.html
The Sir Henry Brooke Lecture (Sixth BAILII Lecture), Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence and the Law, hosted by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, was given on 12 November 2019 by Lord Philip Sales. Full text available on BAILII: https://www.bailii.org/bailii/lecture/06.pdf
[Left] Sir Ross Cranston, Chair of the BAILII Trustees, [Centre] Lord Philip Sales, UK Supreme Court Justice, [Right] Nick Segal, Erskine Chambers
IRLII, the Irish Legal Information Initiative, run by the School of Law, University College Cork, was relaunched in October 2019 with significant enhancements. There is a long-term collaboration with BAILII and BAILII was represented at the event. Dr Patrick O'Callaghan, one of the Directors of IRLII is a member of BAILII's Board of Trustees.
• Nicholas Segal of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and subsequently Erskine Chambers resigned as Trustee on 15 March 2019
• Emily Allbon, City University of London, appointed Trustee on 22 November 2019
• Joel Harrison, Milbank LLP, appointed Trustee on 22 November 2019
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BAILII continues to operate throughout the Pandemic:
During the Covid-19 pandemic the BAILII team are working from their homes and are continuing to upload judgments as they come in; additionally, courts and tribunals are sending some older materials which they have not sent to BAILII before. BAILII is also taking the opportunity for project work; for example, several thousand Employment Tribunal (UKET) decisions have recently been uploaded. The Trustees and staff of BAILII wish all users and supporters well during this difficult time. [BAILII Homepage News]
• Professor Diamond Ashiagbor resigned as Trustee on 2nd February 2020
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Flier for the First Public Launch at University College Cork, April 2000
THE BRITISH & IRISH LEGAL INFORMATION INSTITUTE
Free Internet Access to the Law: http://www.bailii.org
The BAILII project (British and Irish Legal Information Institute) aims to provide free internet access to primary legal materials from Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. A fully operational pilot service is now available at http:\\www.bailii.org. On this web-site, free access can be obtained to recent case law from the Irish High Court and Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and High Court in Northern Ireland, and the leading English and Scottish courts. In addition, one can also access Irish legislation from 1922-1998, as well as the consolidated Northern Ireland statutes from 1260-1982 (with later N.I. statutes to follow). Irish statutory instruments will shortly also be available. All the databases are searchable and are marked up with over two million hyperlinks to facilitate efficient use. The scope of the site will be expanded in the future.
The Background to BAILII
The BAILII project is proceeding with the kind assistance of the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII). Since 1995, the widely admired AustLII service (a joint project of the University of New South Wales and the Sydney University of Technology) has provided free access to cases, legislation and other legal materials from Australia, New Zealand and various Pacific Island jurisdictions. In November 1999, following a public meeting in London addressed by Professor Graham Greenleaf of AustLII, enthusiasm grew for the creation of a similar service in Britain and Ireland. A United Kingdom steering group was then constituted, consisting of Lord Saville, Lord Justice Brooke, Carol Tullo (Her Majesty's Stationery Office), Amanda Finlay (Lord Chancellor's Dept), Professor Richard Susskind OBE and Laurie West-Knights, Barrister (Vice-President of the Society for Computers and Law).
Upon being contacted by the UK steering group, Dr John Mee, Dean of the Law Faculty at University College Cork, set up an informal committee consisting of relevant civil servants, representatives of the legal professions and potential sponsors on this island. Since then, on behalf of this committee, Dr Mee has been working, in conjunction with the UK steering group and AustLII, to co-ordinate the contribution from this island to the project. The first step has been the provision of material for the pilot web-site which Professor Andrew Mowbray of AustLII has, in a remarkably short space of time, created for the BAILII project. Thanks to the strong co-operation of the relevant authorities, the contribution from this island to the pilot site has been particularly impressive.
The Law Department and Faculty at University College Cork has a long tradition in the area of Law and Technology, with Ms Maeve McDonagh (who is on the Irish committee for the current project) being one of the pioneers in the field of Law and Computers in Ireland. BAILII is one of a series of related initiatives being pursued by the Law Department and Faculty at UCC in this general area.
The Law Faculty is grateful to MATHESON ORMSBY PRENTICE for its kind sponsorship of the reception following the launch of BAILII at UCC on April 5th 2000.Back to 2000