PacLII stands for the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute. It is an initiative of the University of the South Pacific School of Law with assistance from AustLII. PacLII is a signatory to the Montreal Declaration on Public Access to Law and participates in the Free Access to Law movement, (FALM) a grouping of a number of world wide organizations committed to publishing and providing access to the law for free. PacLII is based at the Emalus Campus of the USP in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
USP School of Law is based in Port Vila and has students located across 12 countries of the Pacific who do not have easy access to the legal materials from across the region which they need to undertake their studies. PacLII was started by the School of Law as a means to overcoming the tyrannies of distance. It has grown to become a service to governments, legal professionals, NGOs, students, academics and members of the public and has been widely recognized as an example of excellence in promoting access to legal information.
PacLII collects and publishes legal materials from 20 Pacific Islands Countries on its website www.paclii.org which is hosted by AustLII. These countries are American Samoa, Cook Islands, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The materials consist mainly of primary materials such as court decisions and legislation but also include decisions of various tribunals, panels, Ombudsmens reports or secondary information such as court rules or bench books. PacLII is now seeking to expand its collections to include law related materials such as subject specific papers and reports. PacLII is also developing a series of subject specific libraries utilising predetermined search technology. An Intellectual Property and a Maritime Law Library have been created and more are planned. A number of Pacific Islands Treaties are also available but direct access to the database has been suspended due to a current lack of capacity.