The Legal Resource Center was launched as the first free-of-charge and easy-to-use on-line legal resource for the citizens in Macedonia (www.pravo.org.mk). MOST maintains the center on an on-going basis with the objective of giving CSOs and citizens access to all laws and judiciary decisions, draft laws, international agreements among others. This information puts citizens and CSOs in a better position to efficiently and effectively participate in the legislative process. In six years’ time the Legislative Resource Center has become one of the most visited non-commercial web sites in the country. Its services are today used by a wide array of individuals and institutions including lawyers, academicians, journalists and businesses, taking the Center well-beyond its intended target audience. Links to the portal are posted on the web sites of the Parliament and the NGO – Info Centre.
The Legal Resource Centre has played crucial role in promoting cooperation between different citizens and Parliament for establishing of good involvement customs and practices. Over the past period LRC actively supported participatory democracy and involvement in policy creation and decision-making process. From one aspect, this is a result of the easy access to the information related to the legislation provided by LRC, as a very important condition for increasing the citizens’ participation. On the other aspect, this is a result of the wider recognition of informal mechanisms secured by LRC for citizen’s participation in the policy creation and decision-making process in the Parliament.
- Well established tool for free and easy access to the Laws of the Republic of Macedonia including direct link and searching tips for the EU Legislation / EUR-LEX;
- Well established and promoted tool for free and easy access to the Judiciary practice of the R Macedonia officially published by the Supreme court including the Judiciary practice of the European Court for Human rights;
- Providing and promoting free and easy access to analyses on targeted draft laws and initiating public discussions and debates on them.
Since 2004, the Legal Resource Center (www.pravo.org.mk) has become the most powerful and most used free online resource in Macedonia for laws, judicial practice and analyses, with more than 48,000 registered users and an average of 2,189 visitors and 7,430 downloads per day. Following the success of, and public demand for, the information provided by the Legal Resource Center, the Official Gazette of Macedonia, changed its policies to allow limited free access to its archive of older editions. However, the Legal Resource Center remains the sole source of free, current information on legislation and judiciary decisions.
This project was funded by the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Cooperation Office in Skopje. Since July 2010 this project is financially self-sustainable.