After a brief and necessarily truncated review of some of the historical examples of state provision of access to, and promulgation of, legislation (with a particular focus on the Magna Carta given its 800th anniversary in the year of the conference) this paper examines the approach taken in New Zealand since January 2008. From that date, when the government’s legislation drafting and publishing system (LENZ) went live, the New Zealand state institution with responsibility for the publication of legislation, the Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO) began making legislation freely available via the web as well as via the traditional, and charged-for, printed paper version.
The relationship between the government-provided free access website <http://www.legislation.govt.nz> and that provided by the New Zealand Legal Information Institute <http://www.nzlii.org> is examined as an example of the type of collaboration between the state and the LII community which can provide improved access to legislation by the public in one national jurisdiction (and internationally). The paper considers the scope for state institutions such as the PCO in New Zealand to further improve access to, and the accessibility of, historic legislation of all kinds through such collaboration with local and regional Legal Information Institutes such as NZLII, AustLII and PacLII.
Chief Parliamentary Counsel and Chief Executive of the Parliamentary Counsel Office, New Zealand. October 2007 May 2016. This article is professional, non-peer- reviewed expert commentary.
© 2012 Journal of Law, Information & Science and Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania.