The intrinsic value of opening up legal information

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The European Legislation Identifier (ELI) Task Force has been working on opening up legal information across Europe for the past four years. Now that the first ELI implementations have been announced by the Publications Office as well as in France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, it is a good time to share the value of opening up legal information and show how ELI can concretely help.

The commitment of the ELI Task Force comes from the acknowledgement that legislation has an enormous impact on everybody’s life, business and individuals alike, and therefore it should be readily accessible. But often legislation is considered too complex and difficult to find.

By promoting the opening up of legal information across Europe via the European Legislation Identifier (ELI), the ELI Task Force aims to make legal information more accessible and generate value through reuse of legal information. The shift towards open legal information also can cut costs for government by making the publication process more efficient.

How ELI concretely helps

Thanks to ELI HTTP URIs, legal information is identified in a unique and persistent way, which is a key requirement for anybody that wants to consult and reuse this information.

Further, by describing legal information via ELI-compliant metadata, legal information is made available in a structured way, promoting access, interoperability among information systems and the development of value-added services.

Finally, the serialisation of metadata using RDFa generates better search listings and connects data from different sources. This gives better visibility on the Web, so that people can find legal information more easily.

To know more about ELI, you can consult the About ELI page.