Secrecy News

A Guide to Parliamentary Information Online

Parliaments around the world have moved online, placing legislative information and other resources on public-facing websites. Fifty countries’ parliamentary websites — of differing degrees of depth and sophistication — were surveyed in a new publication from the Law Library of Congress.

“While the information on the parliamentary websites is primarily in the national language of the particular country, around forty of the individual websites surveyed were found to provide at least limited information in one or more other languages,” the Law Library report said.

“All of the parliamentary websites included in the survey have at least basic browse tools that allow users to view legislation in a list format, and that may allow for viewing in, for example, date or title order.”

“Around thirty-nine of the individual websites surveyed provide users with some form of tracking or alert function to receive updates on certain documents (including proposed legislation), parliamentary news, committee activities, or other aspects of the website.”

Unlike the United States Congress, which does not yet provide public access to most products of its Congressional Research Service, many of the websites portrayed in the new report do offer online access to their legislative research services. These include the Islamic Parliament Research Center of Iran, the Oireachtas Library & Research Service of Ireland, and the Knesset Research and Information Center of Israel, to name a few.

See Features of Parliamentary Websites in Selected Jurisdictions, Law Library of Congress, Global Legal Research Center, July 2017.