Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Uniform Electronic Material Act

With continued support from the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), the Uniform Electronic Material Act (UELMA) is starting to take hold.

What is UELMA, you ask?

"The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, also known as the Uniform Law Commission (ULC), approved the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) in July 2011, recommending that it be enacted in all states. The act sets forth language, provisions, and parameters that require government publishers of primary legal materials in electronic format to authenticate, preserve, and provide permanent access to those resources."

UELMA "addresses many of the concerns posed by the publication of state primary legal material online. UELMA provides a technology-neutral, outcomes-based approach to ensuring that online state legal material deemed official will be preserved and will be permanently available to the public in unaltered form. It furthers state policies of accountability and transparency in providing legal information to the public. As of August 2014, UELMA has become law in ten states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Currently ten states have adopted UELMA as law."


"Increasingly, state governments are publishing primary legal material such as state statutes, regulations, and court opinions online. Online publication is often accompanied by the decision to stop providing print copies of the legal material. Although online publication has facilitated public access, it has also raised a number of concerns about ensuring that the electronic material will be preserved in unaltered form and will be available permanently. UELMA offers a framework for providing the official legal material online with the same level of trustworthiness traditionally given by print publication."

AALL has a great website devoted to UELMA with material covering:
There is also material devoted to helping advocate for UELMA:
There are also sections on letters & testimony, chapter resolutions, articles & blog posts, and reports & papers. 

AALL has been a strong advocate for UELMA. With ten states officially adopting UELMA, it's great to see state legislatures taking heed of these concerns and passing measures to protect primary legal authority online. 

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