Law Library Provides Access to Legal Research for Developing Countries

<p>The Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School has joined with other organizations to help provide free or inexpensive access to legal information and training in low-and middle income countries.</p>

The International Labour Organization and a group of academic partners that includes The Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School have launched a program to provide free or inexpensive access to legal information and training to promote research in low and middle income countries and help strengthen the rule of law.

The program, known as GOALI (Global Online Access to Legal Information) will give users in more than 115 developing countries access to a wide range of essential legal information for their work and studies that they would not normally be able to obtain.

Eligible institutions include governments, universities, law schools, research and not-for-profit institutions, as well as the administrators of national workers’ and employers’ organizations.

Some of the key topics covered in the program are international law, human rights, humanitarian law and labor law – areas that can help strengthen legal frameworks and institutions in many developing countries. The program will also contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goal  16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

“The aim of GOALI is to improve the quality of legal research, education and training in low-and middle-income countries, and in turn strengthen legal frameworks and institutions and further the rule of law,” said ILO's Deputy Director-General Deborah Greenfield. “This initiative will make this vital information available to those who, until now, have not had access. In turn, it will help promote social justice and inclusive societies, which is at the heart of the ILO’s mandate."

GOALI has been developed with the participation of publishers, UN organizations and academics, as part of Research4Life, a partnership to boost evidence-based research, healthcare, policymaking and global justice.

The program was launched at ILO headquarters in Geneva, together with representatives from the Brill Nijhoff academic publishing company, Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School, the Cornell Law School Library and the International Training Centre of the ILO. Liesbeth Kanis, Managing Director Brill Asia said that GOALI “will clearly fill a gap in the area of access to legal information in developing countries. Brill Nijhoff has contributed nearly 160 journals and ebooks, mainly in the area of law, including the International Development Policy book series and the not-for profit Journal of Interrupted Studies.”

The Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School, for its part, is “adding hundreds of legal journals and ebooks daily, along with associated metadata to ensure the content is easily discoverable by GOALI users,” explained its Law Librarian Teresa Miguel-Stearns. “As of today, we have over 10,000 legal titles from over 60 publishers. Many of these publishers have been contributing content to Research4Life’s other programs for years,” she said.

A third partner, Cornell Law Library, “will contribute its expertise in the areas of research, teaching and learning by providing instructional support to participants in the program both virtually and in person,” said Femi Cadmus, Edward Cornell Law Librarian and Associate Dean and Professor of Practice at Cornell Law School.

Institutions registered with other Research4Life programmes will automatically receive access to GOALI. Others are encouraged to register on this website.

For information contact: Edit Horvàth,

Watch video of the launch.