Visualizing Legislation: “La Fabrique de La Loi”

In a response to GitHub: Where Law Meets Technology? (The Sequel …) Ben let me know about a project developed in France that visualizes legislation called La Fabrique de la Loi. This is is a collaborative project launched in 2011 involving Regards Citizens, an association that promotes the liberation and reuse of parliamentary data for democratic purposes, and two research teams at Sciences Po Paris, the Centre for European Studies and médialab.

La Fabrique de la Loi provides visualizations that reveal the evolution of the law as it passes through the various stages of parliament. Here for example are a selection of recent Acts:

Example from La Fabrique de la Loi

Each line is a chronological representation of the discussions that took place for each project or bill and the colour refers to the institution (e.g. Senate, National Assembly) in charge at the time.

When you hover over a box you get information on the time period and the number of amendments introduced.

Example 2 La Fabrique de la Loi

And clicking on the box gives you access to information about the documents themselves.

Example 3 La Fabrique de la Loi

Looks like a useful tool that helps identify relative time spent on legislation and the corresponding levels of parliamentary activity involved for each of them. It also provides a different way to navigate through large collections of parliamentary documents.

UPDATE: June 16, 2014

As noted by tarNeFyS in the comment below it appears I have left out a large part of the functionality available on this platform.

Clicking on “Explorer les articles” leads you to a wonderful visualization of the various parts of the document as it is passed through the legislative process.

Example of Document Screen in La Fabrique de la Loi

Very nice to see everything altogether like this and this interface allows you to click through on particular sections of the legislation to see the changes made at each stage.

Hovering over a particular section provides information on the extent of the modifications and clicking on that section brings up the text in the right hand panel with changes clearly indicated.

Example of text modification in La Fabrique de la Loi

I’m quite sure that I have still left out many features available on this site. There is great tutorial that will walk you through the additional aspects of this site. Click on the ‘?‘ button to access it.

Thanks again to tarNeFyS for your comment!


  1. You are actually describing like 10% of the website.

    If you click on the “Explorer les articles” button – you can see it on the last screenshot – you will have a new dataviz showing how the text have been modified through each legislative steps.

    And there, you could also access to 2 other dataviz.
    – 1 that show the amendements per status and per political group on each articles.
    – 1 that show the number of words used during the debate on each article per political group

  2. Thank you very much for pointing this out tarNeFyS!

  3. Catching up on recent announcements and found this on the Legal Informatics Blog:

    Open Legislative Data in Paris II: Time has come for Law Tracking: Conference, 28 May 2014: Links and resources.

    This conference was organized by the La Fabrique de la Loi folks.

  4. There’s a great description of this project by Regards Citoyen: OpenGov Voices: How GitLaw turns the French parliamentary process into open data