Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Vatican legislation on line!

The Internet is a great tool in legal research, and I’m constantly using AUSTLII for researching Australian statutes and decisions.  There are similar guides for other jurisdictions, such as BAILII which provides a guide for British and Irish materials. 

And now World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) has a new site: Vatican City Laws. 

Vatican City Laws only gives six statutes at present, but it includes the texts of the following documents: 

·                the Lateran Treaty of 1929 (in an English translation)

·                the Fundamental Law of Vatican City State issued by Pope John Paul II on 26 November 2000 (in an English translation)

·                the Law and Governance of the Vatican City State issued by Pope John Paul II on 16 July 2002 (in Italian).

But there’s much to be done.  For example, the Lateran Treaty is filed under 1871, instead of 1929.  And it would be useful to be told the language of the normative text.  (Do Vatican canonists still use Latin or have they lapsed into the vernacular Italian?)  

Still, it’s an encouraging move towards increased transparency and the rule of law.