The British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) provides access to the most comprehensive set of British and Irish primary legal materials that are available for free and in one place on the internet. In August 2012, BAILII included 90 databases covering 7 jurisdictions. The system contains around 36 gigabytes of legal materials and around 297,513 searchable documents.
BAILII is legally constituted in the UK as a company limited by guarantee (No 4131252) and as a charitable trust (registered charity no 1084803) and has been supported by a number of major donors and is assisted by many other organisations and individuals. BAILII is hosted in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London and the Law Faculty, University College Cork.
The databases on BAILII are derived from a number of sources. Some of the data comes from existing free to air sites. Most of the databases are based on published and unpublished CD-ROMs or rely upon direct and indirect feeds by relevant courts, government departments and other organisations. All of the data have been converted into a consistent format and a generalised set of search and hypertext facilities have been added. Further details as to where databases come from are provided on the database home pages.
The software and approaches that are used on BAILII have been provided with the assistance of AustLII (the Australasian Legal Information Institute).
BAILII makes its website available on a subscription-free basis for the benefit of the public, including pro bono organisations, neighbourhood law centres, students and users in developing countries. BAILII incurs substantial running costs in maintaining its database and website, and is dependent on a continuing flow of donations in order to remain in operation. Commercial users of BAILII (including legal or other professionals, and publishers) and educational institutions are requested to make annual donations to BAILII in order to assist BAILII in meeting its running costs. Donations by cheque are preferred, and online donations can be made here: DONATE via Charities Aid Foundation. BAILII's donors are listed here: Major Donors .
We hope that you enjoy using BAILII and find it to be a useful service. Any words of encouragement or constructive criticism are always welcome of course.