Conference Law via the Internet 2008

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The conference was a special event for the Institute of Theory and Techniques of Legal information of the National Research Council (ITTIG) , which is one of the institutions where legal informatics started in Europe, supporting free access to law without interruption since its origin. It was a challenge and privilege for ITTIG to host experts from all over the world discussing crucial emerging problems related to new technologies and law.

The Conference mainly focused on digital legal information, analyzing it in the light of ensuring free access to legal information, and discussing the technological progress that is shaping such access. Participants in the conference agreed that complete, reliable legal data is essential for access to law, and that free access to law is a fundamental right, enabling citizens to exercise their rights in a conscious and effective way. In this context, the use of new technologies becomes an essential tool of democracy for the citizens of an e-society.

The contributions of legal experts from all over the world reflected the crucial need for free access to law and analyzed both barriers to free access, and techniques capable to cross those barriers.

The key issue that emerged from the Conference is that the marketplace has changed: new models to distribute legal information are needed together with equal market opportunities for legal providers. In this context, legal information is considered as a major public good. From the technical point of view, the Conference underlined the paramount importance of adopting open standards. Improving the quality of access to legal information requires interoperability among legal information systems across national boundaries. A common, open standard used to identify sources of law on the international level is an essential prerequisite for interoperability .

The wide discussions raised during the Conference are collected in a volume of Proceedings published in April 2009 by European Press Academic PublishingEPAP 

During the meeting attended by a relevant number of European representatives a strong need has been felt to promote the FALM Movement in European countries. Hence priorities have been set to look for new membership as well as to establish new strategies for an integrated approach taking into account the various national contexts. This is the rationale behind the launch of an ad-hoc initiative aiming at the creation of an European sub-network of the Free Access Movement.

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