Lexsitus: An ecosystem of legal information and catalyst

Crimes Against Humanity

Lexsitus: An ecosystem of legal information and catalyst

Earlier today, the new online service Lexsitus was released by the Centre for International Law Research and Policy (CILRAP), of which the CMN is a department. Lexsitus supports the learning of, and work with, legal sources in international criminal law. It is an open access service, that has now become a part of the global commons.

Access to lectures, commentary, case law, preparatory works, and digests

Lexsitus integrates visually and functionally access to lectures, commentary, case law, preparatory works, and digests. It does so by offering immediate access to the following resources, at the level of each article and main provision of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC):

  • 234 sub-titled lectures by a Lexsitus Faculty of 50 experts from all regions, with transcripts of every lecture available as full-text searchable PDF-files;
  • a commentary made up of 915 separate comments by 58 lawyers, with legal sources hyperlinked;
  • international case law;
  • the preparatory works of the ICC Statute; and
  • two digests that offer excerpts from judgments on more than 860 separate Lexsitus pages for individual elements of crime.

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Lexsitus also offers the possibilities to

  • establish a personal user account;
  • build an individual library of sources in Lexsitus;
  • search and download;
  • copy-and-paste quotations for individual drafting purposes; as well as
  • a user-friendly audio-visual tutorial; and
  • introductions by leaders in the field such as Prosecutors Serge Brammertz, Benjamin B. Ferencz, Richard J. Goldstone, and Mirna Goransky, Judges Marc Perrin de Brichambaut and LIU Daqun, Professors Morten Bergsmo and Narinder Singh, and Dr. Alexa Koenig.

While Lexsitus offers a simple and intuitive interface, it is powered by 809,623 lines of coding, across 9,047 coding files.

Possible wider implications of Lexsitus

In terms of work processes, Lexsitus supports the retrieval of legal sources in international criminal law; interpretation or analysis of such legal sources; and the learning of international criminal law. This is illustrated by this wheel, which is offered as a symbol of open access to the ecosystem of legal information in international criminal law:

Lexsitus-supports-portrait

The creator of Lexsitus – Professor Morten Bergsmo (CILRAP’s Director) – remarks:

“With Lexsitus, the long-term investments by the ICC, the EU, Finland, Norway and others in open-access retrieval of legal sources in international criminal law have been supplemented by analysis- and learning-support services. Combined, they form a mature ecosystem of legal information. This impacts on the way we develop further capacity in, and work with, international criminal law. In the coming months, we will also explore how this ecosystem affects ongoing discourses on access to justice and dissemination of international law. Lexsitus helps us to offer proper access to law, a precondition to efforts to improve access to justice. By disseminating all relevant legal sources in international criminal law in a free and immediate manner, it also contributes towards broadening the discourse community beyond mainly Western institutions and constituencies. We hope Lexsitus can be a catalyst for similar developments in other disciplines of international law”.

Lexsitus is developed by CILRAP in co-operation by HELM Studio and Mithya Labs, with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Nuremberg Principles Academy. The Academy is a global partner in the Lexsitus project.

You may freely access Lexsitus here from your desk- or laptop. If you have questions, feedback or ideas on how Lexsitus could be further developed, please send an e-mail message to lexsitus@cilrap.org.

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