Pilot online legal database launched to bring free information to the public

‘There is a powerful case for making the basic raw materials of the law, legislation and case law, much more widely and easily accessible to the public and the legal professions through the use of information technology,’ David Lock MP, LCD Minister with responsibility for IT issues, said yesterday.

He was speaking after viewing a new pilot website, BAILII, which can be found at, which offers free internet access to primary legal materials and which is being launched today. BAILII stands for ‘British and Irish Legal Information Institute’.

The pilot BAILII website has 400 megabytes of legal materials and more than 75,000 searchable documents with two million hypertext links.

The website is the first step towards the provision of an online database of all British and Irish law, both statute and case law. It is fully interlinked and uses an ‘intelligent’ search engine.

It will be expanded over the coming months.

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