A one-stop index of every single England and Wales court and tribunal judgment is being considered by the British Government, the Law Society Gazette of England and Wales has reported.
The publication service would be run by the National Archives and would cover off every single decision, in an expansion of the service which is currently offered by the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII).
Data would also be open for bulk research and analysis, including for training artificial intelligence (AI) systems to forecast case outcomes.
The news emerged following a National Archives’ board meeting which noted a decision by the lord chancellor on a future partnership.
The England and Wales Gazette notes that technologists and researchers have welcomed the news, while senior judicial figures may guard against any territorial loss of control over judgments.
New legislation will be required in an update to the 1958 Public Records Act and BAILII may also face a shake-up. The BAILII contract is up for renewal in 2022.
It receives one quarter of its £200,000 annual budget from the UK’s Ministry of Justice. A report two years ago from that department called for the publication of all judgments in a structured, machine-readable format.