Project deliverable Open Access

openlaws.eu: Case study 3: Austria

Wass, Clemens

Just like the UK and the NL, Austria is one of the leading EU Member States with respect to legal information systems and access to justice. The RIS is an award- winning centralized expert systems, containing legislation and case law in one plat- form. Despite financial limitations of the government, the platform continuous to make information accessible for free in accordance with the PSI Directive, also via a new REST interface. These open data interfaces made it possible that third parties have developed new applications based on the RIS datasets, including the OpenLaws platform. The RIS is well established and experts users are satisfied. Non-experts can receive legal information through the citizen portal help.gv.at or the business portal usp.gv.at. Primary sources of the law are well covered, with the exception of prepara- tory works of the parliament, which are not very accessible. The border line in Austria between legal information provided by public bodies and information provided by commercial publishers is “added-value”. Primary sources and basic functionality are offered by the government, access to secondary sources (literature, commentary) and premium functionality is offered by the publishers.

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