Supporting Legal Initiatives

British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)

BAILII provides access to the most comprehensive set of British and Irish primary legal materials that are available for free. In August 2012, BAILII included 90 databases covering 7 jurisdictions. This equates to around 36 gigabytes of legal materials and around 297,513 searchable documents.

In May 2011 BAILII launched an appeal for funds, this was due in part to a major funder deciding to discontinue their funding of BAILII and uncertainty about the provision of funding from other significant parties.

As a result of this appeal BAILII received a significant number of donations, including an ongoing commitment from BIALL to provide BAILLI with £5k for three years from 2010.

At the 2012 Annual General Meeting BIALL members agreed to increase this amount to £10k per year from 2013 for another three years.

At the 2015 Annual General Meeting BIALL members agreed to a further three annual donations at the same rate of £10k per year.

Foreign Law Research Group Website (FLARE)

In April 2012 BIALL agreed to provide FLARE with £5k to assist them with the updating of the FLAG Foreign Law Guide database.

In May 2014 an additional £5k was provided to FLARE to again assist with the updating of the FLAG Foreign Law Guide database.

BIALL Pro Bono Project: Providing Support to the Legal Profession and Institutions in Sierra Leone

A working group was established in 2016 to look at various strands in how BIALL can assist in Sierra Leone. More details and updates are on the Special Interest and Working Groups page.

Background

In September 2013, Jas Breslin, then BIALL President, was contacted by Richard Honey who represents the Bar Council Sierra Leone Special Interest Group, with a request for BIALL to become involved with a pro bono project in west Africa. Working with other professional organisations who were already providing training and support in their specific areas of expertise, BIALL was asked to assist with advice and consultation on the management of law library facilities in several institutions in Sierra Leone.

BIALL Council agreed to follow and support the project for the coming year.

In 2014, BIALL sent two volunteers Thomas Cookson and Samantha to Freetown to provide hands-on training and assessments of the library services at several legal institutions, to include the Sierra Leone Law School in Freetown, the High Court, and two universities, amongst others.

Following their successful on-site visits, Tom and Sam wrote a report making several recommendations and providing a good insight of the situation at the organisations they visited. The report is available to read below.

BIALL Council agreed to continue to support to the project.

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