GitHub: Where Law Meets Technology? (The Sequel …)

About a year ago I wrote a post inspired by Thomas R. Bruce‘s article “GitHub: It Ain’t Magic Pixie Dust.” In that post I introduced Bruce‘s observation that “people are sticking legislation into GitHub at a furious pace.” I wanted to quickly revisit this idea and see if there was still interest in this area.

I found a short presentation* that V. David Zvenyach gave at iAnnotate 2014 in April called, “Annotating the Law.” (There is a bit of a buzz in the audio which is too bad)

Zvenyach introduces the document intensive process involved when a law is created in the U.S. He then focuses in on the real problem: versioning. Versioning is the process that could track all of the amendments and changes made during the development of a piece of legislation and keep everything together on a single document. Sort of a Google Docs for the legislative process …

A question about the complexity of GitHub for the uniniated was raised during the question period and Zvenyach agreed that this was a problem. They have published an unofficial version of the DC Code on GitHub but the real interest is in the “Git” part of GitHub which is the system that handles version control.

Looks like this is still on the radar with the potential of making legislative drafting more transparent and possibly providing a vehicle that would allow direct public input into the process.

* Thanks Legal Informatics Blog!


  1. Have you seen this project in France?
    It visualizes the legislative modifications at each step of the parliamentary process and if you select a bill you have a Git link pointing to a gitified version of each bill within GitLab.

  2. No haven’t seen that one. Thanks Ben.