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JILT 1997 (2) - AustLII Papers - Footnotes


[1] AustLII came into formal existence on 1 January 1995 when it received its first grant funds, and dropped the 'prototype' status from its web pages in July 1995.

[2] Andrew Mowbray (UTS) and Graham Greenleaf (UNSW).

[3] Geoffrey King, AustLII Manager; Philip Chung, Primary Materials Manager; Trina Cairns (Treaties Project Officer), Kirsty Magarey (Indigenous Law Project Manager), Simon Cant (Inferencing Research Project Officer) and Daniel Austin (Primary Materials Officer).

[4] Part-time staff include David Irvine (Secondary Materials Project Officer) and Tim Moore (Honorary Research Associate, indigenous law project). See for all personnel details.

[5] Robert Watt (UTS), Joe Ury (UNSW)and Alan Tyree (University of Sydney).

[6] Subject to privacy considerations - see AustLII's Privacy Policy at


Commonwealth courts and tribunals:
High Court of Australia Decisions 1947-
High Court of Australia Transcripts 1996-
High Court of Australia Bulletins 1995-
Administrative Appeals Tribunal Decisions 1976-
Australian Industrial Relations Commission Decisions 1988-
Australian Industrial Property Organisation Decisions 1981-
Family Court of Australia Decisions 1988-
Federal Court of Australia Decisions 1977-
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Decisions 1985-
Immigration Review Tribunal Decisions 1990-
Industrial Relations Court of Australia Decisions 1994-1997
National Native Title Tribunal Decisions 1994-
Refugee Review Tribunal Decisions 1993-
New South Wales
Supreme Court of New South Wales Decisions 1995-
Industrial Commission of New South Wales Decisions 1995-
Land and Environment Court of New South Wales Decisions 1988-
Residential Tenancies Trinunal of New South Wales Decisions 1986-
Northern Territory
Supreme Court of the Northern Territory Decisions 1986-
Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission Decisions 1995-
South Australia
Supreme Court of South Australia Decisions 1989-
District Court of South Australia Decisions 1997-
Environment Resources and Development Court of South Australia Decisions 1997-
South Australian Consolidated Acts
South Australian Consolidated Regulations
Supreme Court of Tasmania Decisions 1987-
Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal of Tasmania Decisions 1996-
Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Victoria Decisions 1994-

New South Wales Law Reform Commission Reports are the largest collection.

[10] Australian Commercial Disputes Centre

Australian Community Legal Centres

Australian Human Rights Information Centre

Australian Institute of Judicial Administration

Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation

Federal Court of Australia

High Court of Australia

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

New South Wales Law Reform Commission

Privacy Committee of New South Wales

Refugee Review Tribunal

Western Australian Information Commisioner

[11] Cornell's intellectual property statutes are an exception - see ; some Butterworths Online databases also contain extensive internal links.

[12] AIRS - a component of the DataLex Workstation.

[13] The initial grant from the DEET 'Mechanism C Research Infrastructure Scheme' was for $110,000 which was matched by grants of $25,000 each from UTS and UNSW.

[14] In October 1995, the Law Foundation of NSW agreed to fund the primary material on AustLII. The chariman on the Foundation, Justice Vince Bruce, was instrumental in obtaining permissions for the remainder of the SCALE materials. By the end of the year, we had permissions to publish around 20 databases.

[15] This figure reflects the total number of bytes that are indexed. It does not include non-indexed files (such as tables of contents and the like) and does not reflect the size of the raw HTML files after they have been divided into files.

[16] For the purposes of this calculation, a user 'session' is treated as any period of use from a single site where usage is not interrupted by a period of more than half an hour.

[17] This excludes development machines, most of which are used for data conversion work. These machines include 'cogee' (a Sparc 4) and 5 PCs and Macs.

[18] Two Sparc Ultra 170s with 256M of memory called 'bronte' and 'bondi' and one Sparc 4 with 32M called 'wanda' (like the fish!).

[19] And hence the name SINO - 'Size is no Object'. Apart from being a reaction to the very slow retrieval times of glympse vs the very good concordance ratios that it was achieving, the name was also meant to reflect the fact that SINO could handle very large text databases.

[20] Existing court designators take various forms. In line with AustLII's recommendations to standard citation, these designators are being standardised to be equivalent to the cited format.

[21] E-mail from John Pike, webmaster of the American Federation of Scientists, quotes confirmation from Alta Vista that 600 is about the maximum for any one site.

[22] On Alta Vista, using a search for Vietnamese legal materials for example, this requires a search which is limited to materials which are located on a server in Vietnam (the 'domain:vn' delimiter) or contain 'Vietnam or Viet Nam' - and this is still somewhat hit or miss.

[23] The copyright issue are complex and will not be dealt with here, because they can be avoided.

[24] An ARC 'Mechanism C' grant for $110,000. Dr Tom Gedeon of Computer Science at UNSW was also one of the investigators named in the grant, as has been our co-applicant on other research funding applications.

[25] The Australian Research Council (ARC) 'Mechanism C' fund.

[26] Principally from the Australian Research Council; the Law Foundation of New South Wales; Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation; Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Australian Business Chamber; AUSTRAC and the Human Rights Centre / Commonwealth Attorney-General.

[27] See the United Kingdom Court of Appeal’s comments at the end of the Introduction, for example.

[28] The alternative, that the final number should be '1', is rejected because it would be ignored in creating hypertext links (and is therefore unnecessary for the main purpose), is unlikely to be used consistently, and because there may be need to interpose publisher-specific materials (eg headnotes) before the decision proper starts.

[29] Except that we are about to change our file names to now use 'FCA' instead of 'federal_ct'.

[30] Internet Material Cleared

Selected decisions of the Family Court of Australia are being restored to the Internet and on-line services.

Contrary to media reports, there is no unauthorised material such as case files available on this database.

Family Court decisions on the database have been available for many years in commercial law reports.

Services provided by the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) and related on-line services provided by the Attorney-General's Department were temporarily suspended pending an assessment of the database material.

That assessment has been completed and I am satisfied that the Department, AustLII, the Law Foundation of New South Wales and the Family Court have acted appropriately in providing selected and edited Family Court decisions through the electronic services. The services provide accurate copies of selected decisions in a form that is determined by the Family Court to be appropriate for reporting. The publication of such decisions does not breach any prohibition on publication or privacy legislation, and their continued availability has been supported by the Family Law Council. The Chief Justice of the Family Court believes there are adequate safeguards to ensure that inappropriate material is not published. The SCALE service has therefore been restored and the AustLII service will be re-established shortly.

[31] However, if AustLII does become aware of apparently inappropriate content in a decision, its policy is to inform the court or tribunal concerned, so that that body can decide whether the decision should be withdrawn temporarily while it reconsiders the publishable form of the decision and, if necessary, supplies replacement copies to all publishers.

[32] See for AustLII's Privacy Policy.

[33] This paper was written concurrently with a paper for the 6th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law (6 ICAIL), Melbourne, July 1997 (Greenleaf, Mowbray, King, Cant and Chung 'More than wyshful thinking: AustLII's legal inferencing via the World Wide Web'), reporting on the same project, so there is necessarily some overlap between the two papers.

[34] Funded by an Australian Research Council Major Grant for 1997-99 of $170,000; preliminary 1996 funding of $8,000 came from an ARC Small Grant. Simon Cant is AustLII's ARC Infrencing Project Officer.

[35] Written by King and Cant, 1996-7.

[36] Gunning and Greenleaf, 1994.

[37] Greenleaf and Mowbray, 1994

[38] The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation is a cross-cultural and cross-party organisation established in 1991 by an Act of the Commonwealth Parliament supported unanimously by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Establishment of a formal and ongoing reconciliation process was the final recommendation of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

Parliament set the Council the task of promoting a process of reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider community. It emphasised that this process should be based on an appreciation of the unique position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the indigenous peoples of Australia and should foster an ongoing national commitment to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage. Parliament also asked the Council to report on whether a document or documents of reconciliation would advance the process and if so to make recommendations on the form and content of such documents. The Council's Secretariat is provided by the Aboriginal Reconciliation Branch of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and is based in Canberra.

[39] 'Furthering Aboriginal reconciliation and social justice via Internet communications to diverse audiences', ARC Collaborative Research Grant, 1997-99.

[40] Although some work has been done by ATSIC to list some of the historical sources, no research has yet provided a list of any completeness of these materials. No central collection of material is held and holdings in places such as the various national, state or territory libraries or their parliamentary libraries or the library of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Studies are fragmented and impossible to access on an integrated basis.

Whilst some elements of the material envisaged to be researched in the historical phase of the project has been dealt with in earlier literature on Australia's indigenous people or elements of it have been touched upon by the leading contemporary historian in the field, there is no aggregated collection of source documents available which covers all the material expected to be discovered during this phase. Indeed, until the late 1970's, the legislative impact on indigenous people of Commonwealth or State enactments (save with respect to those highly paternalistic pieces of legislation which were "for the protection of Aborigines"), was often noted in passing (if at all) although of far reaching effect. As these areas are now of significance to indigenous people as they relate to establishing the basis for the denial of full citizenship rights in Australian society, considerable original research will need to be undertaken to establish the legislative routes of early post colonial exclusion of indigenous people from full Australian citizenry.

[41] - ‘The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation draws your attention to the cultural sensitivity of issues and material in these individual death reports. The Council asks that, in accessing and using these reports, you be aware of this and of the sensitivities of the living relatives and friends of those whose deaths are recorded in these documents.

Readers of these materials should be aware that, in some indigenous communities, use of the name of a dead person may cause offense and distress. Any reader of these materials proposing to down load any portion of these individual death reports for any purpose should be aware of the sensitivities and seek advice on what culturally appropriate proceedures and safeguards need to be adopted in using this material.

A number of reports of individual deaths do not record the individual's name. In these instances, the Royal Commission ordered the suppression of the name of the deceased at the request of the individual's family and for cultural reasons.'

[42] The Constitution Centenary Foundation and Keys Young resources.

[43] ; From the Petition: 'On-line petitions to the Senate have become possible since Senator Stott Despoja's announcement that the Clerk of the Senate will accept electronic petitions ( For those interested in the Senate's Procedures regarding petitions they can be viewed at'

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