Legal informatics

Legal informatics

Legal informatics is an area within information science. One of the best definitions of legal informatics comes from Erdelez and O’Hare (1997):

:The American Library Association defines informatics as “the study of the structure and properties of information, as well as the application of technology to the organization, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information.” Legal informatics therefore, pertains to the application of informatics within the context of the legal environment and as such involves law-related organizations (e.g., law offices, courts, and law schools) and users of information and information technologies within these organizations.

Legal informatics could be said then, to encompass several conceptual areas:

#information retrieval (both manual and automated systems such as artificial intelligence)
#law and policy (issues such as privacy, copyright, and security)
# information access issues (such as making legal and government information more accessible to the public, both physically and intellectually) and
#practice issues (applications which help lawyers in their day-to-day operations).


* Erdelez, S., & O’Hare, S. (1997). Legal informatics: application of information technology in law. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 32, 367-402.

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