Guest blog post: Open Data in the judiciaries of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay

In 2013 CIPPEC’s Justice program developed the project Emerging Impacts in Open Data that focused on the judiciaries of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay*.

CIPPEC’s study focuses on the openness of judiciary data and its impact. It is grounded in the belief that openness and transparency in the judiciary should be standard practice, as the judiciary provides a public service that affects people’s daily lives, and since it is answerable to society as well as the remaining branches of government.

Although no open data policy exists in the three judiciaries studied, each has implemented policies on the publishing of wide-ranging information, the main features of which are accessibility and non-discrimination. Despite the fact that in terms of reusability none of the countries use license-free formats, the formats they do use (since they are widely accessible) allow for the data’s reuse.

After over a year of intense work and with the support of the ODDC network, on May 8 Sandra Elena, Director of CIPPEC’s Justice and Transparency Program, and Natalia Aquilino, Director of its Monitoring and Evaluation Program, unveiled the study’s final results.

There was a large turnout for the presentation - federal judges, criminal court clerks, computers and technology office of the Supreme Court of the City of Buenos Aires officials, Magistrates Council representatives, Chief of Cabinet representatives, judicial union representatives, lawyers, economists, media and civil society organisations were all in attendance.

In the wake of this, we published a policy brief in Spanish (PDF), a short video (with subtitles in English) that explains our findings and a video of the event (see videos below).

This work was part of a broader program of work run by the World Wide Web Foundation entitled, ‘Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries’, and was backed by the Canadian International Development Research Centre. The purpose of the latter program is to obtain evidence and methods of approach to contribute to informed debate among decision-makers and, in future, to ensure that actions become more evidence based.