here - Jersey LVI 2013

friendshomeopathInternet and Web Development

Dec 4, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)



It makes sense that people should all
have free access to the laws of the

How can one work according to and
within the law if there is no easy and free
access to that law?


to place the updated, consolidated
laws free online

Like many countries in the world, South Africa
has lots of money

but it is very difficult to
find it for a project of this nature.

We realised that we needed to get it off the
ground first, and then look for funding.

African Legislation

from Acts and

with Regulations

Reliable material

only from the commercial

History of the LIIs

initiated within a
university environment

Not a LII but at least we were in the right place

Very limited funding (none)

We worked out what our requirements were:

Copyright knowledge

Source material

Office space and computers

IT people who could, and would

People who could tackle the difficult work

Funds for data input, etc.

Partnership with SAFLII

Current collection is mainly case law

Obvious void was the current legislation

At the same time, the University of Pretoria’s
Law Library was looking at this project

The partnership was a natural symbiosis


very challenging

Thanks to Peter Martin, Thomas Bruce, Daniel

and Tim Arnold
Moore of

In the end

Open Source


Content Management System

tools to build an interactive website

Hierarchy of PDFs

fully full
text searchable


and the extensions on a Linux Server

No software licensing needed

Important to have a test and a production

Backups on a daily basis


” or “
Historical Versions

Working from the principal Act

must re
the Acts in the consolidation process.

Save each version to be able to offer a
database with “
Historical versions

Not only the Acts

but also the Regulations.

Some of these are very extensive and so at
times we place a short summary of the
Regulation in question

public may request
the full document.

Commencement dates


May be different dates for parts of sections of
the Act

and it may apply to Amendment
Acts too.

For the versioning is it so important to be
exact about this.

Straightforward approach.

Simple PDFs.

Little in the way of value
added material.

Our approach was to supply the documents as
speedily as possible.

To satisfy the public’s need to access updated
reliable legislation
free on the Internet

The data input does require funding.

Exacting work and requires fairly scarce skills.

Some seed funds to get the project off the

came from the University Library

We were then able to demonstrate the working

with examples of completed Acts

Partnership with SAFLII

with funding for a year.

Communicating our work

Search engine optimization techniques

Press release from SAFLII

Trying to arrange for radio announcements

Link from SAFLII webpage

ready market

Facebook page

Communicating our work

Practitioner’s journals

Websites with Legislation on them

them to link to our site

Request Law firms to link to our website


Organization of South African Law
Librarians website

link to our database.

What the future holds for our database

Whatever happens around funding

we shall need

we believe that our database
will not be wasted as the PDFs we have
created can always be used.