HC Deb 22 March 1999 vol 328 cc70-1W
Mrs. Ewing

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made towards making statute and case law available on the Internet; and what plans he has to charge for this service. [76151]

Mr. McLeish

[holding answer 15 March 1999]: The text of all new Acts of Parliament and printed Statutory Instruments are freely available on Her Majesty's Stationery Office website at http://www./open/gov.uk. The Lord Chancellor's Department has set up a Statute Law Database to ensure publication of up-to-date amended text of United Kingdom Public General Acts of Parliament. The partially updated database is presently available to a number of users within central government who have access to the Statutory Publications Office Intranet. The Lord Chancellor's Department are considering options for the future marketing of the Statute Law Database. These options include free Internet access, the granting of non-exclusive licences to legal information publishers and the provision of a subscription on-line service.

A newly dedicated Scottish Courts Internet site went on-line on 24 February 1999. The site provides a free searchable database of the full text of all judgments from the Court of Session with effect from September 1998, including judgments in commercial cases from January 1998. Selected judgments from the High Court of Justiciary, including opinions in some sentence appeals, are also available. Selected judgments from the sheriff courts will be added as the database is developed.