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Evaluation of ITL Commissioned by The Law Faculty, University of Tromsø [unofficial translation from Norwegian]

1. Introduction

2. Research

3. Teaching Material

4. Development of an information System

5. Conclusion





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Evaluation of the International Trade Law - WWW

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Evaluation of ITL Commissioned by The Law Faculty, University of Tromsø [unofficial translation from Norwegian]

4. Development of an information System

My impression is that the primary purpose has been to establish and develop* a system,, without having had a clear research/academic or pedagogical goal. The project has been driven of an interest for Internet and WWW, and the system has been a goal in itself.

Judged from such a perspective, Ralph Amissah has made a very good contribution with the project. It has aroused justified international attention. The system has aroused considerable interest at other legal educational institutions that are specialise in international trade law and/ or that are interested in the use of information technology in a legal environment. I know that one can through the American University Cornell, Pace and Chicago Kent regard this as one of the most interesting projects of this type. The project is amongst the leading in the world when it comes to the use of WWW and the presentation of legal information and is probably the leader when it comes to international trade law specifically. It is also interesting to note that the University of Tromsø has taken a leadership position in Europe when it comes to the use of this technology in a legal area.

Also amongst those interested in the technology, without being particularly interested in law, the project has been noticed. When one of the worlds largest computer magazines "PC Magazine" in April this year made its list of the 100 best WWW services, they found space for two providers of legal information: Cornell Law School and the University of Tromsø.

There can in my opinion be no doubt that the University of Tromsø through this project has established a very interesting information service with a significant development potential. The service is based on a new technology that is under rapid development. Neither the technology nor the project are completed.

The project has without doubt high value. The question therefore is not whether it is desirable that the project is continued, but whether this is the type of work that should be done in a legal research institution in a Norwegian university. It is entirely a institute political question, but I will nevertheless express some opinions.

Besides engaging in research and education a University also has as its responsibility to engage in publishing externally,* and seek to ensure that there is efficient access to essential information for research and education. Development of methods of publishing in my opinion clearly lie within a University's goals.

It is appropriate here to draw a parallel to work done at the Institutt for privatretts (Institute for Private Law's) section for Computer/ Information Technology questions, that has since become the Institutt for rettsinformatikk (Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law), prior to the establishment of Lovdata (the Norwegian legal database, and equivalent of Lexis). A lot of significant work was done within the University regime before one had come far enough to establish an organisation to run an information system. There are further grounds to mention that the Law Faculty of the University of Oslo has been publisher of law collections as long as it has existed. It is today so incorporated that it is easy to forget that this originally was a radical new information system for legal information.* Finally it can be pointed out that Universities use relatively large resources for the publications of periodicals, even where they are not necessarily the publisher.

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( International Trade/Commercial Law & e-Commerce Monitor )

W3 since October 3 1993
1993 - 2010

started @The University of Tromsø, Norway, 1993
hosted by The University of Oslo, Norway, since 1998
in fellowship with The Institute of International Commercial Law,
Pace University, White Plains, New York, U.S.A.



Ralph Amissah

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