The idea for this group arose from a questions we at AfricanLII had received from some new LIIs regarding:
1. Whether there exist guidelines for LIIs in drawing up constitutions?
2. What are the duties and responsibilities of LII staff?
3. Hosting criteria: or how is a suitable host institution selected for the LII?
We realised that these are good questions to be asking but lacked definitive responses. Given the unique context of each LII, this is perhaps to be expected.
For the benefit of the members of this group, I will briefly recap the conversation to date:
AfricanLII's experience with SAFLII was such that no formal constitution existed for SAFLII itself, but drew from the Constitution of the Constitutional Court Trust (of which it is a project).
Kenya Law Reports are unique in the region as they were established as a government body through an Act of Parliament.
Duties and responsibilities of LII staff:
At AfricanLII, we have derived a broad coordinator job description. It assumes one person and hopes for more!
We welcome further comments on this question from the members of the group.
AfricanLII's somewhat unscientific, purely experiential assessment is as follows: You will need a structure that:
1. Has a strong driver or champion for the project;
2. Has integrity: stakeholders and users must be able to trust the institution. This includes sound (but not unwieldy) governance structures;
3. Efficient and available infrastructure that is streamlined and stable;
4. Can accommodate a representative board that will see the LII through the strategic decisions it requires to develop.
Some reference material from the web: