UK Laws now online?

January 10th, 2007

The UK Statute Law Database

The UK Statute Law Database (SLD) is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online. For more information about SLD and what it contains see Help

Statute Law Database

I remember reading a post on Blogdial maybe two years ago to the effect of this, putting all laws online for the public to see. This database has been online since late December and it’s a good START… and as much as they trumpet its success, there is still a problem:

Where’s the interaction?

Where’s the Wiki? Why can’t I add comments? How come we can’t vote on the laws in a digg-like fashion? Why aren’t challenges to the laws posted? Because none of this is any good when a list of many of the horrible laws that are in effect cannot be questioned and challenged within the powerful internet forum – does the gov’t think the public is just going to say “oh it’s really powerful to be able to look at my laws! Now I really now how to be good!” People want INTERACTION and EFFECT. Not just a list.
So while it’s nice that all the statutes are linked together, and are updated to reflect not-yet-enacted legislation, replete with amendments… without the “citizen-input” this program is incomplete. Nice though, to see a non-commercial copyright use program. Though I fail to see why commercial reproduction of the laws requires licensing… though that’s something I don’t quite have the time to fully look at.
I still have in my mind an idea for a citizen-made public wiki-type thing for all the laws in Canada… if only I had the capital and the programming chops. Maybe one day!

Greetings from Edmonton, in the middle of the first blizzard of the year. Stay warm, peeps.

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