Earlier this month, the National Archives of the United Kingdom launched legislation.gov.uk to provide public access to a primary source of legal information for citizens. Legislation.gov.uk covers more than 800 years of legal history in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
When I heard about the new site, I dialed up John Sheridan (@johnlsheridan), head of e-services and strategy at the UK’s National Archives, to talk about its implications for open government. Our conversation is embedded as a podcast in this post.
For more on the technologies, inspirations and aspirations for the project, read Sheridan’s comprehensive post on Legislation.gov.uk at the Cornell Law School.
As Sheridan writes there:
We aimed to make legislation.gov.uk a source of open data from the outset. The importance of open legal data is made powerfully by people like Carl Malamud and the Law.Gov campaign. Our desire to make the statute book available as open data motivated a number of technology choices we made. For example, the legislation.gov.uk website is built on top of an open Application Programming Interface (API). The same API is available for others to use to access the raw data.
For more on the growing semantic web of data, watch the video of Tim Berners-Lee embedded below:
- Tim Berners-Lee on Data.gov.uk, open linked data and open standards
- Law.Gov: America’s Operating System, Open Source