Lately, I’ve been tempted toward complicated prose that urges rethinking of legal-information fundamentals. Why? Because the idea of public access to law in a global digital society makes some fundamental rethinking necessary. It would be swell to explore those notions in some longwinded way, but I’m both lazy and out of time. So instead I am going to offer two really simple propositions:
1) Simple fairness demands that the public have free access to legal-information systems that embed the same functionality and quality as the most advanced systems commonly available within the public body that creates or issues that legal information.
2) Authority in legal text ought to be judged simply (and exclusively) on the basis of accuracy, currency, and other objective quality measures. The barter in “official status” is unnecessary.
Please discuss in the comments. The fun, of course, lies in cataloging all the ways in which our current situation does not match those ideals, and why. Assuming, of course, that you think they are ideals.