tiens: a big law   
LAWS & WEBBITS

         to basic   
Useful searching

1st published @ searchlores.org in December 2003
(This version 0.001 was updated in December 2003... in fieri, und wie!)

   Finding laws on the deep deep web  

Advanced Law searching
by fravia+

FINDING LAWS (and other paraphenalia)


Intro  
Useful tools   EU laws   US laws   Other laws               Cinix's remarks, Nemo's Hotbot (and other points of view)  





Introduction


Well, searchers are surely able to check/find/use any available law, even without a specific page.
Yet some of the tools and masks presented here may help many 'local root organisation' (the so called 'civil society'), which most frequently do NOT have the privilege of counting capable seekers among their members, in order to find quickly and effectively their path in the juristic maze, knowing 'against which laws' and 'trough which laws' they will have to battle their way to a better world.

As anyone knows, human "laws" are often enough just a joke, and their eventual implementation depends on a combination of political will, the right relation of force and the existence of a truly independent magistrature, conditions that are often amiss in our two-tiers world of slaves whose ony task is to consume, dominated by prepotent oligarchies of commercial interests sanctified by paid media-propagandists and corrupt political lackeys.

But laws DO exist, and can at times (especially if rooted on older traditions and gentler society models) even annoy today's slavemasters, who would rather prefer to keep laws (and laws perusing capabilities) hidden in clouds of boredom, accessible only to the most resolved individuals, reserving the hunting grounds to the 'specialists' of the sector: lawyers and judges that knows very well where their career possibilities lie, where their monetary perspectives thrive and, insomma, when to act and when to shut up.

We will use, as an example, some searches for laws relating to noise levels. This should allow readers to learn the first "basic elements" of internet law searching.

There are various other seeking aspects, that we will address soon or later: 1. how to find a lawyer or an affordable attorney that can handle your legal need and/or help you with your legal issues, 2. how to find 'legal forms' (in order to avoid as far as possible lawyers' and attorneys' costs :-) 3. how to find sofwtare tools, if possible GNU-free, that will handle your legal need and/or help you with your legal issues, given the fact that software may (already and surely will, duh) be MUCH better than lawyers and attorneys in digging out useful jurisprudence for your cases :-)
We begin with the 'meat': where/how o find the TEXTS of the laws you may want to use/misuse.

Of course, as always, this section will florish if and only if you yourself will contribute. Do ut des, duh.


Useful tools




United States LAWS


United States Code

Supreme court

http://www.supremecourtus.go v/: Supreme court

Search:
For documents containing: help

US Congress

Public and private laws are prepared and published by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
http://www.gpoacc ess.gov/plaws/index.html: US Public and private laws

Current Congress Only, 108th Congress (2003-04)

Previous Congresses -- 104th (1995-96) through 108th (2003-04) Congress

Tax Court opinions

Federal courts






Cinix's remarks, Nemo's Hotbot and other points of view

"There's a good reason why countries would not typically translate their legislation in other languages, and that's the humongous amount of texts in those databases, increased daily, which would require the coordinated efforts of an army of good translators. And then, there's no incentive to do it. Anyway, the first place to look for national legislation in the national tongue is the site of the country's parliament, and alternatively the government's site." (vvf)



"IMHO HotBot is the best search engine for this particular task.
Although HotBot's paid results on SERPs, HotBot has rich (and sometimes unique:) filters which let you get ride of most commercial crap.
The pages we are trying to find have a hard edge: they must have a box where you can put your search query. In HTML language this means that the page must have a form and HotBot is the only search engine that lets you search for pages containing forms. The syntax is feature:form.
HotBot has other powerful advanced filters which lets you pinpoint precisely what you want, among them: domain search, region search, language search, words to include and words to exclude.
" (Nemo)



I just read fravia's "Searching laws on the wide web" essay [http://www.searchlores.org/laws.htm] and I could not grasp the fact that this is actually advanced searching.

let me explain.


Facts of law

Laws are country/union specific
Laws are created by official instances/gouvernements
Laws need to be made public for them to be official
Laws need to be studied

Other facts

People pay taxes
Students have no money



The first approach should thus be:

Find the official website of the instance responsible for the judicional system of a country you wich to find a law from.
Since all occupents of that country need to be informed about the laws they should obey, chances are very large that some sort of 'law database' is created with the taxpayers money.

----------
example:

note:

you'll need to develop your language skills since laws are generally only published in the official languages of that country.
english isn't a very 'official' language outside the US and UK.

Belgium -> www.belgium.be -> officiлle belgische sites -> rechterlijke macht -> www.juridat.be (JURIstic DATabese) and bingo!
all belgian law on a pile with fulltext search ;-)
----------

OK, what if you live in a underdevelopped (gouvernement not online) or crooked (gouvernement online but no law database created with your tax payments)

Somebody in your country must be studing law at some (un)known lawschool(s). Education facilities were amongst the first occupants of the internet (and have the one fact in common with official websites : no ads or commercial junk to lead you of your path)

what are the chances that

not one student of the law department has his website dedicated to law or law resources?
the school has absolutly no law resources at all online?

I guess none? do you agree?

Finding the databases concerning your/a countries law isn't that hard you just need to brush up on your database accessing techniques.

Personally, advanced searching is finding something hard to find, not finding something available aplenty. just my 2 (euro) cents


Cinix


Re: challenge (12/12/03 11:54:15)
fravia+

law is tough (12/12/03 13:08:13) Reply
    It is possible that database of Russian and Chinese laws are already online, and even free for anybody to access, but I bet they are in their national tongue only, and using fonts that you and me probably do not have on our machines, and even if we had them... My Chinese is limited to names of restaurant dishes, while my Russian is even more limited, therefore I, for one, could not make anything of those sites even if I saw them, except maybe look at the structures of links (Latin chars). There's a good reason why countries would not typically translate their legislation in other languages, and that's the humongous amount of texts in those databases, increased daily, which would require the coordinated efforts of an army of good translators. And then, there's no incentive to do it. Anyway, the first place to look for national legislation in the national tongue is the site of the country's parliament, and alternatively the government's site.

    One may find English selections of national legislations on various topics in other places, and not necessarily for free. If you are interested in a specific subject-matter of, say, Chinese legislation, I suggest you search that topic in English and you may have a chance to find something. There are for instance organizations interested in human rights, environment, gender studies etc., or else consulting or financial companies interested in financial or other matters, that do publish translations of the acts that are relevant for their purpose. That's why I'm pretty sure that one can easily find an English copy of the Russian company tax law, or of the banking law (let's say on the site of Russia's central bank - not checked, but it's likely), but much less so that you will be able to find a specific Government Decree regarding funds allocated to some obscure field of research.

    Another interesting case is that of countries with several official languages, where the law usually states that everything is to be published in all of these. That's the case of Canada for instance, and I know they used to have an excellent and free database of legislation, in fr & en of course. It might be the case for Switzerland (a European country not in the EU). I don't think that it applies to China, unless someone in Hong Kong thought of it for some good reason. Again, Brazil and Russia would have no reason to publish their entire legislation in anything else then their national language. Which leaves us with the specific selections of legislation I mentioned above.

    Concerning EU law with higher power than national legislations, for EU countries but also (technically) for acceding countries, that's entirely true. Many people are not aware of that, or at least not entirely, and governments are not always keen to remind it. In fact, governments usually put the blame on Brussels when a controversial law is issued, but want to take the credit for themselves whenever a EU law happens to be welcomed by the public. In both cases, in fact, they have no real choice once a regulation or other act is passed by either the Commission or the Council.

vvf

Яussian law  (12/12/03 14:42:22)
    This is not a good example though, as I can read Russian ... will try for .br later to check if it can be done with a completely foreign landuage

    guesswork: www.gov.ru ... hmm ... no useful links, just the constitution
    (although the link stated "Law acts of the Russian Federation")

    Let's not give up on gov.ru
    google: *.gov.ru ( http://www.google.com/search?q=*.gov.ru )

    Ahhaa, the Duma ( http://www.duma.gov.ru/ )
    There:
    http://wbase.duma.gov.ru/ntc/fz.asp
    Now let's try the search:
    Вид акта: Закон (Type of legislative document: Law)
    Текст: шум* (Text: nois*)

    Results seem good:

    О здравоохранении
    Об охране окружающей природной среды
    Об охране атмосферного воздуха

    (Titles translated:
    Of healthcare
    Of preserving the environment
    Of preserving the athmosphere
    )
Mordred

Re: Re: challenge (12/12/03 15:06:20)
    IMHO HotBot is the best search engine for this particular task.

    Although HotBot's paid results on SERPs, HotBot has a rich (and sometimes unique:) filters which let you get ride of most commercial crap.

    The pages we are trying to find have a hard edge: they must have to have a box where you can put your search query. In HTML language this means that the page must have to have a form and HotBot is the only search engine that lets you search for pages containning forms. The syntax is feature:form.

    HotBot has other powerful advanced filters which lets you pinpoint precisely what you want, among them: domain search, region search, language search, words to include and words to exclude.

    I'll show you some exemples of how to use it. Lets search for resources on portuguese laws. In order to do that you can use the following queries on HotBot:


    Filters used:

    • Language: Portuguese
    • Domain: pt
    • Region: Europe
    • Any of the Words, Anywhere in the Page: lei leis (law laws in portuguese)
    • None of the Words, Anywhere in the Page: murphy Kirchhoff (some false positives)


    In your case change the fields Language:, Domain:, Region: and Any of the Words, Anywhere in the Page: to the ones that better describe your needs.

    Infortunatly HotBot let's you use 'Any of the Words, Anywhere in the Page' only once, that why I have to search for 'search', 'procurar', 'procure', 'pesquisar' and 'pesquisa' (these words are semantic sinonyms of 'search' in portuguese) in separated queries.

    Here are some pointers to portuguese laws:

    http://cr3.cea.ucp.pt/ lei/lista.html
    http://cr3.cea.ucp. pt/leiciv/lista.html
    http://www.oa.pt/
    If you want a more specific subject ask it! Lets say you want some information about laws relating to noise levels, all you have to do is replacing 'search' by 'ruido' (noise in portuguese):

    +ruido +feature:form

    Good luck!
Nemo

Re: Re: Re: challenge (12/12/03 15:37:44)
    Hehe, and I just tried:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&q=lei +ru%C3%ADdo+site%3Agov.br&btnG=Google+Search

    Btw Google didn't recognize the accented i .. maybe this one is better:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&q=lei +site%3Agov.br+%28ruido+OR+ruidos+OR+ru%C3%ADdo+OR+ru%C3%ADdos%29& btnG=Google+Search

    You rock! :)
    Btw, why do you use feature:form with your keywords (+ruido +feature:form)?
    "+pesquisa +feature:form" (or maybe "lei ambiental feature:form") I can understand, but in that way you risk ending up with "Fun portal: directory of best discoteques in Lisabon" or something.
Mordred

Re: Re: Re: Re: challenge (12/12/03 20:37:33)
    Btw, why do you use feature:form with your keywords (+ruido +feature:form)? "+pesquisa +feature:form" (or maybe "lei ambiental feature:form") I can understand, but in that way you risk ending up with "Fun portal: directory of best discoteques in Lisabon" or something.

    I go along with you!
    Ich glaube, die Wahrscheinlichkeit dafьr extrem hoch ist. hehehe
Nemo

Re: Re: Re: Re: challenge (12/12/03 22:33:17)
    Nevertheless using the obvious names 'ruido' pays! Btw I forgot to point out that 'lei', 'leis' are still present in the required keywords... so the query is still quite focused... probably you wont find diskos so esely:)
Nemo










Petit image

(c) III Millennium by [fravia+], all rights reserved and reversed