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May 10, 2010
An Experiment in Crowdsourcing Free Online Legal Commentary and Analysis
Staffan Malmgren, the creator of the Swedish free access to law service lagen.nu and a project manager at the Swedish Courts administration reports on a project to produce free legal commentary of Swedish statutes on VoxPopuLII. Malmgren reviews the technical aspects of using MediaWiki and the social aspects of coordinating the writing effort in Crowdsourcing Legal Commentary. He reports:
With the commentary project, I feel we have proved that legal commentaries can be written in a crowdsourced way (even though we used monetary compensation to motivate our authors), and that wiki technology has the required capabilities, and is sufficiently user-friendly, for such an undertaking.
The next step for our commentaries project is to formalize and sustain an assignment and feedback workflow. This will require multiple project managers, and ideally some form of delegation of responsibility for different parts of the law. Further, I am confident that the project can be sustained using a voluntary framework. This remains to be proven, though.