From WikiLaw, the free legal repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Discussion Page[edit]

This page is intended to be the "Village Pump" of WikiLaw. As WikiLaw is a very new website, all matters related to how the website should be built can be discussed here.

Current Project[edit]

Currently testing the very early aspects of how content will be laid out on this site.

Each type of legislation should follow a template, regardless of jurisdiction. However this should not override usability for people in that jurisdiction. i.e. If a single "Common law" template for acts doesn't work for all common law jurisdictions, then it should not be enforced in that way.

But we do want someone from another jurisdiction to feel comfortable exploring the content of a jurisdiction they are not familiar with. Striking a balance here is a key challenge.

Particularly focusing on Social Security Act 2018.

Politician Pages[edit]

Just as WikiSource holds "Author:" pages. It'll be valuable to hold "Politician:" pages (Name to be determined).

A Politician's page should hold a record of Bills they have submitted, should show their voting history on other bills, and Hansard they are referenced in. It can have a general biography, but in the context of WikiLaw, it should not be a copy of Wikipedia.


A law can go through many stages. In NZ Law, a bill progresses through several stages:

  • Bill Introduced
  • First Reading
  • Select Committee
  • Second Reading
  • Committee of whole House
  • Third Reading
  • Royal Assent

Readings and discussions are recorded in Hansard. After each reading, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) can be submitted by any politician to recommend changes to the bill, until finally the Bill receives royal assent and is enacted into law.

WikiLaw intends to show a timeline of an act, from bill introduction, to enactment with everything that comes in between, and after that, will show amendments to the law.

Changes and Versions[edit]

WikiLaw intends to show not just the current version of a law with all amendments incorporated, but also the law at any point in its history.

Currently trying to decide the best way to present multiple versions of the same legislation. Amendments to legislation create a new "version" of legislation. But, I'd like to avoid creating a duplicate of the same legislation just to change one section.

Want a user to be able to view all or part of a legislation at any given date. And also compare and identify changes in the legislation. Like Wikipedia's built in View History.

Machine Readable[edit]

It would be ideal if eventually, WikiLaw were completely machine readable.

Page Titles & Linking[edit]

Where possible, references to other sections or legislation should be entered as a hyperlink, even if it is a redlink. As when that legislation is eventually added, it will activate the link, and will encourage adding related legislation.

This means all page titles should be reasonably predictable.

Example: The Social Security Act 2018 (NZ) (Version 56) Section 373(1)(a)(i)(A) contains many parts that identify what we're talking about.

  • Jurisdiction: NZ
  • Name: Social Security Act 2018
  • Version: 56
  • Section: 373
  • Subsection: 1
  • Paragraph: a
  • Subparagraph: i
  • Subsubparagraph: A

Can also be written NZ 2018 No 32 s 373(1)(a)(i)(A). Both forms need a bit of familiarity with NZ Legislation structure.

Sub-Page Structuring[edit]

Pages should be structured so that it is clear where a part is a sub-part of another part. As with the above example, the page would be:

NZ 2018 No 32 s 373(1)(a)(i)(A)

There creates a predictable structure. In the event disambiguation is needed, i.e. if there are Multiple countries that created a "Social Security Act 2018", then that will become a disambiguation page, that would link to "Social Security Act 2018 (NZ)".