Data as at 12 Dec 2022
The ALRC DataHub offers insights into the operation of the Australian legal system and includes the first comprehensive collection of data on all Commonwealth legislation. The DataHub currently covers:
- all as made Acts since 1901;
- all as made legislative instruments;
- a selection of Act compilations;
- a selection of legislative instrument compilations; and
- all Bills introduced into the Commonwealth Parliament since 10 Nov 1998.
The DataHub is intended to be dynamic, and will evolve over time in response to feedback and as the ALRC updates the data it collects on the legal system.
Read an article marking the launch of the DataHub:
The Wondrous Universe of Law: The ALRC’s DataHub and a new age of legal exploration
Who can use the DataHub?
The DataHub publishes many data sets that can be analysed to generate novel insights into Australian law. The ALRC DataHub is intended to be a resource for scholars, legal practitioners, businesses, Parliamentarians, non-government organisations, and government departments and agencies.
The DataHub includes case studies in how these data sets can be used to enhance understanding and visibility of the law, and the accountability of those who make legislation.
Don’t know where to start? Check out how ALRC data has been used to offer insights on lawmaking during the Covid-19 pandemic, issues of Law, War, and Peace, and a history of the Australian statute book.
Why a DataHub?
Legal complexity is a growing feature of the Commonwealth statute book that has significant consequences for citizens and businesses. While a degree of legal complexity is inevitable, it is essential to manage and reduce this complexity wherever possible. The DataHub reflects the ALRC’s commitment to identifying, analysing, and understanding complexity in legislation and across the Australian legal system. Data provides an essential foundation for ensuring proactive identification of potential areas of law reform, and for managing and reducing legal complexity. Proactive law reform and simpler legislation can assist all Australians in understanding and complying with Commonwealth law as efficiently as possible.
The DataHub should also help Australians better understand the laws that govern them. The DataHub provides the first comprehensive data sets available to all Australians for answering questions such as:
- Who makes our laws? Answer: it mostly isn’t the Parliament.
- What subject-matters do our laws cover? Answer: civil aviation is the jumbo jet of legislation, but we prioritise our health.
- How complex are our laws? Answer: Very, and growing more so.
- Just how big is the statute book? Answer: At over 280,000 pages, it is equivalent to more than 250 copies of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.
How is the data used?
The data is used in ALRC Inquiries and is freely usable by the public under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (the CC BY 4.0 licence). The ALRC has made extensive use of the data in its Review of the Legislative Framework for Corporations and Financial Services Regulation.
Where is the data from?
The ALRC DataHub brings together and analyses many sources of data. In total, well over one million webpages have to date been scraped by the ALRC. The Federal Register of Legislation is the most important source for the data published on the DataHub, while Commonwealth Bills-related data is from the Australian Parliament’s website. The ALRC acknowledges that the DataHub would not be possible without the use of open access data standards by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel (Cth) and the Australian Parliament’s website. For detail on the exact sources for each data set, see the Download the Data webpage.
For enquiries, please email email@example.com.
Are you using the data? Got ideas for what the ALRC should analyse next? The ALRC is particularly interested to hear how people are using the data sets published on the DataHub and how the ALRC can make improvements. The ALRC is keen to see case studies and examples of how the data is analysed and visualised. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org