ELI news: March 2016 workshop on the European Legislation Identifier

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Highlights benefits of interconnecting legislative documents

The March 2016 workshop on the European Legislation Identifier (ELI) demonstrated its advantages: making it easier to find, use and reuse legislative documents. The workshop also showed that the standard for identifying legal documents is easy to implement, improving existing systems.

ELI’s classification system for legislative documents boosts access to and reuse of legal information, explained John Dann, Chair of the ELI task force, and Deputy Director of the Central Legislation Service at Luxembourg’s Ministry of State. Better data improves decision-making, and ELI also increases the efficiency of information exchange. Implementing ELI even helps reduce bureaucracy, John Dann said.

‘ELI opens a genuine network of legal information’, the Chair of the ELI task force added. ‘It is a wealth of reusable open data that opens new business opportunities.’

The workshop was part of the ‘Access to and reuse of legal information’ conference. The conference was organised by the Publications Office, and took place in Brussels on 21 March 2016.

Portals and journals

The European Legislation Identifier is already put to use in Denmark, France, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom. At the workshop, all six presented their implementation.

In Denmark, for example, ELI is now used to classify all information available on retsinformation.dk, the official Danish legal information system. The portal allows visitors to search for laws, regulations, decrees and circulars that are issued by ministries and central government authorities. The website also makes accessible all parliamentary documents. ‘All documents are accessible by ELI and all documents can be searched using ELI’, reported Søren Broberg Nielsen, working for the Legal Information Division at Denmark’s Ministry of Justice.

In France, ELI can now be used to access legislative documents and regulatory texts that are published in the country’s official gazette, (Journal officiel de la République française), going back to January 2002. These documents are reachable using ELI via Legifrance, the journal’s portal.

ELI will prove useful not only for searching existing legislation, but also for those drafting new legal texts, anticipates Patrice Platel, who was involved in the implementation at Legifrance, and works for the General Secretariat of French Government (SGG). ‘Drafters must have an overview of all relevant legal texts, and ELI will let them focus’.

More information

All presentations of the workshop can be found at the ELI conference website.