II International Scientific and Practical Conference “Information Technologies and Law (Legal Informatization – 2004)” Minsk, Republic of Belarus, 28-29 October 2004
Participants of the II International Scientific and Practical Conference “Information Technologies and Law (Legal Informatization – 2004)” held by the National Center of Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus
under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and
as a thematic meeting within the framework of the preparatory process to the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (Tunis, 2005)
with the assistance of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Belarus, Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Executive Committee of the CIS, Standing Committee of the Union State, UNESCO Chair in Information Technologies and Law, National Commission of the Republic of Belarus for UNESCO, UN/UNDP Office in the Republic of Belarus and a number of other organizations,
with the participation of prominent scientists and specialists from Belarus, China, Germany, Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, the United States of America, as well as a representative of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights,
following the Declaration of Principles of the World Summit on the Information Society and Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
taking into account international documents of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, in particular, the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace as well as Policy Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Governmental Public Domain Information,
recognizing the need to consider the processes of development of legal informatization as an indivisible element for formation of the Information Society,
having heard and discussed the reports and speeches of the participants of the Conference,
- the undoubted urgency of problems and directions of legal informatization development considered at the Conference, their importance in bridging digital divide, including through international cooperation;
- step-by-step realization by the National Center of Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus of the decisions taken in 2002 at the International Scientific and Practical Conference “Modern Computer Technologies in the Systems of Legal Information (Legal Informatization – 2002)” and the results achieved by the Center in developing the legal informatization in the Republic of Belarus which, in many respects, are attained due to the attention paid by the state administration to these problems;
- progressive tendencies and effectiveness of the functioning of the state system of legal information created in the Republic of Belarus on the basis of modern information technologies as well as similar systems of legal information and legal informatization in the countries represented at the Conference;
- the need for the coordination of research in the spheres of scientific and human resources support of legal informatization processes on the level of national, regional and inter-regional programs, first of all under the auspices of UNESCO and UNESCO Chair in Information Technologies and Law;
- the importance of timely informing about the activity of the UNESCO Chairs and coordination of interaction of scientists and specialists participating in their work, including through creation of a joint Internet resource of the UNESCO Chairs in the countries of the Moscow UNESCO Office’s cluster (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation);
- the importance of taking measures to form relevant legal information resources of state bodies, including those on the Internet, and providing access to them by creating and developing the network of public legal information centers considering the experience of the National Center of Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus as well as technologies applied at creation of “e-governments”;
- the need to develop international cooperation in the sphere of legal informatization and creation of a coordinated legal and information space within the framework of existing interstate organizations;
- the necessity to take appropriate legal, organizational, technical and other measures on the national and international level to increase the reliability and security of legal information technologies.
Stressing the importance of discussed problems of the legal informatization, the participants of the Conference state that:
- wide application of information technologies in all spheres of human activities, including the legal sphere, essentially influences the world development, creates important preconditions for great economic and social reforms and leads to formation of the advanced society;
- at any stage of the informatization the processes of providing the citizens with legal information play an important role, it is one of the priorities for dynamic development of a civilized state, and the application of a huge potential of modern information technologies in legal spheres is a requirement and one of the main directions for forming the Information Society;
- further improvement and application of effective, transparent, pro-competitive, multidirectional policy and adequate legislation in the sphere of information technologies and law will contribute to the creation of a wide access to legal information and information about the activity of state agencies as a whole;
- information technologies in legal sphere shall be aimed, first of all, at providing free access to legal information including for socially disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of people.
The Conference determines the following priorities for action to develop legal informatization and proposes them for consideration at the preparation to the World Summit on the Information Society (Tunis, 2005):
- development and consistent implementation of scientifically proven approaches, projects and programs aimed at formation of a single legal and information space for each state and coordinated information and legal space within the framework of interstate organizations;
- consistent formation and development of national and regional (inter-regional) legal information systems, in particular, through creation and improvement of legal information databanks containing decisions of authorities of all levels, results of law enforcement activities of courts, official translations of legal acts, etc;
- improvement of the legislation of states in the sphere of legal informatization and its harmonization taking into account the following factors:
- determination on the national level of organizational and legal policy principles in the sphere of legal informatization and creation of legal information systems on the basis of modern information technologies;
- creation of a complete, official and updated legal information resource based on the state system of record and registration of legal acts which should be given the status of official source of legal information (in electronic as well as printed form);
- implementation of the basic provisions of the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace as well as the Policy Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Governmental Public Domain Information, and creation of legal mechanisms ensuring the access to legal information and information about the activity of state agencies;
- formation of unified conceptual approaches and development of the international cooperation in the sphere of highly qualified specialists’ training in the sphere of legal informatization as a new scientific and practical direction created in the Republic of Belarus, in particular, through organizing an international network of UNESCO Chair in Information Technologies and Law.
Participants of the II International Scientific and Practical Conference “Information Technologies and Law (Legal Informatization – 2004)” are convinced that the implementation of the aforementioned priorities for developing legal informatization will be a significant contribution to the creation of the information and legal space of each state as well as the information society.
Taking into account the importance of these problems and the positive results of the Conference, its participants consider it appropriate to forward this Final Document to the Preparatory Committee of the World Summit on the Information Society (Tunis, 2005) as well as to the parliaments and governments of states represented at the Conference, UNESCO Secretariat and UN/UNDP Office in the Republic of Belarus.
Organizational Committee of the Conference