This project is paused.
The FreeLegalWeb Citator is a database of UK Laws, published Resources representing those Laws, and Citations identifying those Laws and Resources.
We track new Laws and related Resources from public access data and build relationships between Laws, Resources and Citatons.
We maintain full biographical data for all Laws and Resources (ie equivalent to DC meta data). We do not index the full text of external resources.
The Citator can be browsed or searched on this website and can be queried via an open API for use on external sites.
This page describes the Citator data and features (not all of which are included in the Beta release).
The Citator catalogues the following Types of Law. So far as authored laws are concerned, the Pilot site focuses only on Housing Law. Coverage will be extended as the project progresses.
|Type of Law||Coverage||Current data sources|
|Primary Legislation||All current at 1991 and all subsequent; initially at document level only||legislation.go.uk|
|Secondary Legislation||All current at 1991 and all subsequent; initially at document level only||legislation.go.uk|
|Court Cases||Judgments of the high courts and appeal courts available on BAILII||BAILII|
|Tribunal Cases||Decisions of selected tribunals available on BAILII||BAILII|
|Law Commission Reports||All||Law Com and Scot Law Com sites|
|Command Papers||All from 2001||TSO Official Documents site|
|Articles||Articles on FreeLegalWeb||FreeLegalWeb|
|Publications||Selected law books||various|
|Resources||Selected web resources||various|
Within each Type, Laws are classified by Category – eg Primary Legislation includes the Categories UK Public General Act, Act of the Scottish Parliament etc.
As the project progresses we will classify all Laws by subject using a combination of source data interrogation and moderated user submissions. The subject classification will be by broad Area of Law (eg Housing Law), then by subject (eg Notice to quit). Users will also be able to apply their own chosen Tags.
Associated with each Law is one or more published Resource representing that Law. For example, Resource records for a Court Case will include the Full text judgment (published by BAILII) and may also include a Law report (eg a Law Reports Appeal Case published by ICLR).
We maintain meta data for each resource including its URL if it is known and publicly accessible. So in the above example, the BAILII record would include a URL, but the ICLR record would not.
The Citations table records all relevant Citation strings. These records are referenced from the Laws and Resources records.
Associated with each Law is a Preferred Citation. This will be the best citation available according to the following preference: 1) standard neutral citation; 2) other “official” citation; 3) other persuasive neutral citation (eg BAILII); 4) FLW-assigned citation.
Associated with each Resource is the Citation used by the Publisher of the Resource. In many cases this will be the Preferred Citation; in other cases it may be a non-standard or proprietary citation.
Since each Resource is linked to its parent Law, queries for all Resource citations will return data from the appropriate parent Law record and all child Resource records.
The Citator recognises most variant forms of citations and directs you to the Preferred Citation.