Vision for GLIN 2

GLIN 2 is not intended to revive the original GLIN system but rather to replace it with a modern system with these classes of attributes:

  • A searchable repository of authentic versions of laws and related legislative documentation.
    • The overarching requirement is to maintain authenticity and system integrity. This is the most important feature of GLIN and must be maintained and be verifiable by the system as needed by users regardless of what technical innovations are included to augment usability.
    • Using approaches such as the current Abstracts and Thesaurus.
    • Integrating alternative approaches to possibly include full text searches.
    • The ability to add links to both authentic and non-authentic copies for use in federated searches.
  • Accessible in countries with strong IT skills and a robust Internet infrastructure as well as in countries with less strength / capabilities in these areas.
  • Provide – in the first delivery – a 6-language interface to the system (Modern Standard Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish) and adding the following languages (and possibly others) in the second delivery:  Chinese (traditional and simplified), Korean, and Russian.
    • Extendable such that at least four additional languages can be added each of the two following years.
    • The use of a language implies that the screens used by subscribers and others work in the local language of the member country while laws in the GLIN 2 database will remain in the language of the official text, and abstracts will be in the original language and English.
    • Local language also implies that for languages (e.g. English) that have multiple, well-defined variations, the local country settings will be used for screen displays, searches, etc. to the extent that the operating system and browser (used at the person doing the searching’s computer) support this.
  • At the start up, all of the GLIN 1 data (laws, abstracts, and related material) should be available and loaded for searching and updating if the owning Member Countries approve this and verify the current authenticity of each legal document. The GLIN2 System developers plan to:
    • Upgrade the GLIN 1 data to put the documents into more readily searchable formats.
    • Broaden the search protocols to include those suited to a wider range of users than just those familiar with database searching.
  • Initially, it is anticipated that at least 14 countries will participate as full subscribers to GLIN 2 using the 6 languages above; that is they will add material, manage existing material, and search the system.
    • It is further anticipated that 10 additional countries will participate as full subscribers each of the first 5 years as languages are added.
    • Prior to becoming full members it is anticipated that many of the additional countries will want access in a search only mode.
    • There will be two levels of users in a member country:
      • Governments, International / Organizations, and NGO members who will be able to post materials, as appropriate to their mission;
      • Users from the general public to include private citizens, professors, students, lawyers, and researchers who will only be able to search and retrieve information.  
  • Provide tools for members to collaborate across countries and languages supported by subscriber profiles that indicate such things as languages and relative skill levels, as well as legal areas of interest / expertise.
    • This will include a collaborative space for communities of users (such as those researching a common legal issue or those sharing a common legal underpinning like the Napoleonic Code or English Common Law) to network and share ideas electronically.
  • User-tracking tools to enable better user-targeted improvements. No personally identifiable information will be tracked for members of the general public – ensuring they will have privacy in terms of their search interests.
  • Accessibility of GLIN from mobile devices.
  • The ability to repurpose text from search results for secondary searches, for reports, etc.
  • Provide tools to support bulk data uploading (e.g., for new member states) rather than requiring that data be uploaded one record (Legal resource) at a time. 

The database will be expanded and deepened by encouraging Member Stations to develop procedures for the systematic addition of laws predating their adherence to the system and to add final judgments, beginning with those of the Supreme Courts of the member countries. In a manner similar to that of GLIN 1, judgments will be hyper-linked to the laws (and earlier decisions) they quote. GLIN 2 technology will allow for the inclusion of videos of important parliamentary discussions, and members will be encouraged to expand their use of these videos in GLIN 2. To support and enhance the development of legal doctrine – in particular in developing countries – there will continue to be space for academic articles concerning the laws or judgments in the new database. 

Multi-national treaties were already incorporated in GLIN 1 and will be a distinct feature of GLIN 2.  A major push that started with GLIN 1 will be to have laws below the national legislature level added to the system. These would include laws from states, provinces, cities, and other sub-national levels of governments. These sub-national searches could be federated searches of other systems to the extent that they ensure authenticity or where there is a warning to users that they are leaving the GLIN database. 

In addressing the above technical vision statements, the Development and Operations contractor selected by the Foundation, Ideal Innovations, Inc. of Arlington, VA, USA, has been encouraged to express innovation based on their experience, expertise and capabilities to design, implement and maintain cost effective state-of-the-art systems of this type. In this regard, the following items are on the Foundation’s topical interest list but should not be taken as an all inclusive list or as hard requirements:

  1. Data Processing. There is interest in innovation applied to gathering, translating, abstracting raw data into the system. This system process can become a system wide bottleneck especially due to the variety of languages and media involved. There is potentially room for innovation in GLIN-specific ontology development. Auto translation technology is of interest, again under the overarching authenticity requirement.
  2. Cloud Hosting. The Foundation and Ideal Innovations are already exploring cloud technology implementations. The approach is related to potential cost effectiveness and scalability. The concerns about security, availability and performance issues are all being taken into consideration.
  3. Search. The Foundation believes this is a fertile area for significant system capabilities that could be game changing for GLIN 2. Multi-lingual text searching comes to mind.
  4. User Interface. GLIN will serve a wide variety of users in terms of needs, computer equipment and sophistication in using such systems. A design employing innovative technologies that make it easy to use and that provide a high level of service to all these users is a goal.
  5. Visualization. The utility of big data systems can be significantly enhanced by visualization technology especially as they experience exponential growth in size, complexity and velocity of input data. The Foundation and Ideal Innovations will explore how the GLIN 2 system might employ this technology in ways that would enhance the system.