A History of the Web Journal of Current Legal Issues

Bruce Grant


There is much interest in open access publishing. This has been caused, in part, by demands that research which was publicly funded should be made available to those who funded it, and partly by a feeling that the market for research information has become unnecessary expensive and fragmented.  In law, we have seen the success of the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) and its ability to make a very large corpus of judgments and other materials available without charge, with very minimal expenditure – indeed law schools provide very little funding to support BAILII.  Apart from BAILII there has been little open access legal publishing in the UK. The Web Journal of Current Legal Issues has been one of the few locations where the open access model has been utilised, and has been so for almost two decades.  The history of the Web JCLI is therefore of interest to outline what has enabled its longevity, what barriers low cost legal publishing faces, and where such a journal might go now that commercial publishers are being encouraged (by a changing financial model) to utilise open access channels, too.

Full Text: