AfricanLII – African Commercial Law Index Project

The law of many African countries is obscure. Basic legal materials, necessary to conduct business, protect rights, or even study the law, are largely unavailable. Law reports, law consolidation and Gazettes collections are sporadic and incomplete, or when available – hugely costly to obtain, and often years out of date. Altogether, this makes the law, and its practice, fundamentally uncertain in many African countries. It’s a basic impediment to securing the rule of law on the continent.

AfricanLII (African Legal Information Institute) is providing a solution through a comprehensive programme that offers governments and organizations in 14 African countries a way to get current law, mostly in a barely edited form, out to citizens and practitioners, for free, and with easy access.

The ACLF’s first project has been to enable the development of a regional electronic law reporting service, providing a level of rationalization on top of the existing case law collections. At the 2017 ACLF Conference, AfricanLII demonstrated the project, known as the African Law Digest Service – a consolidated index of notable and reportable cases from three African countries: Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda. After receiving excellent feedback from the Delegates, the ACLF is now seeking funding to further develop the Digest.