Open data: decentralising and democratising social justice

From Global development | The Guardian Tue Feb 19 2013, 05:57:16

Chris Worman writes about Open Courts, the dataset which provides a model for others interested in data-driven advocacy

Glancing back and forth between the two university students and what looked like the underside of a jellyfish on their laptop, I was at a bit of a loss for words. "So I am looking at a visual representation of the connections between judges, plaintiffs and defendants, and court decisions by topic, for every court case in Slovakia since 1997?" Smiling, the first student replied: "Basically. It's almost 400,000 decisions downloaded, scraped, indexed and cleaned up."

"And ... why did you decide to do this?" "Well, I couldn't find a case I was interested in. The Department of Justice site was just so poorly organised. And besides, it seemed like a good idea."

Meet Pavol Zbell and Samuel Molnár, computer science students who had no particular social change agenda. They were not, and are not, out to take on their national judiciary or serve some higher power of social justice. They just couldn't find what they were looking for.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Ghana:   What Obama Can Do To Encourage a Successful Election (guest column)
allAfrica.com
2 December 2016

The results in Ghana's presidential election on December 7 could be very close and President Obama should demonstrate his support for a peaceful and transparent process Barrack Obama applauded ... [read more]

Gambia:   Adama Barrow - the Man Who Defeated Gambia's Jammeh (news)
Deutsche Welle
2 December 2016

Six months ago Adama Barrow was unknown in the political field, but he has just been elected president of The Gambia: His victory brings to an end more than two decades of Yahya Jammeh's rule. 263,515 ... [read more]

Zimbabwe:   Activist Abducted, Severely Beaten (news)
News24Wire
3 December 2016

Pro-democracy activists in Zimbabwe are worried that a period of gross human rights abuses may be returning to the southern African nation after a prominent social rights activist was abducted by ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!