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JISCmail Newsletter Issue 2/03

Existing and recently introduced UK legislation which impacts on the use of information technology has meant a growing need for regulatory and compliance information.  In response to an increased number of enquiries on the application of this legislation to ICT from colleges, their staff and students, the JISC ( www.jisc.ac.uk ) funds a Legal Information Service (J-LIS).

J-LIS delivers legal resources for further and higher education, particularly for those working in Information Services, but anyone within further and higher education can access its website, send an enquiry or attend its workshops.  J-LIS materials are aimed at non-lawyers and provide information needed to make decisions, stay inside the law and, if things get serious, help with background briefing before seeing a lawyer or a representative of the police or security services.  The objective is to save time and money by providing or supplying information (or access to it) from one place.  J-LIS aims to prepare and select material, which is as succinct and to the point as legal material can be.

Our core areas are

- Data Protection
- Intellectual Property (Copyright)
- Freedom of Information
- Human Rights
- Disability
- E-Security (E-Monitoring)
- Cybercrime
- ISP Liability

What the JISC Legal Information Service provides

A website with a range of resources and services at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/legal

For example 'briefings' on major areas of law relevant to ICT, both by our own staff and commissioned from academics, practitioners and users.  The site hosts a daily news service, e-updates from MacRoberts,

Text Box: JISC Legal Information Service - by John X Kelly

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John X Kelly is one of two Legal Information Officers who provide a helpdesk for ICT legal issues in FE and HE Institutions and can be contacted by email at jlis@strath.ac.uk.  Further details can be found at www.jisc.ac.uk/legal, © JISC Legal Information Service

©Copyright

JISCmail 2003

Solicitors, News of Workshops and other events, Lists of links by legal area, and a Glossary of terms.

We run a dedicated email and telephone inquiry service, details of which are on the website and we aim to answer all queries within 3 working days.

J-LIS runs national workshops on the existing key areas as well as addressing newer legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act.  We also run smaller scale regional workshops in co-operation with the JISC RSCs on legal issues in general and on more specific topics such as Copyright.

J-LIS provides speakers for conferences and seminars and runs stands at exhibitions.  In addition to material available at these events, we have leaflets available on request, which are also distributed by mail shots.

J-LIS staff serve on JISC sub-committees and external working groups.

What we cannot do

Naturally, the service cannot give professional legal advice to individuals or institutions on specific cases - it cannot offer a legal 'help-line'.  In addition neither can we advise you on what specific actions to take when you are facing risks.  Ultimate responsibility for complying with the law lies with institutions and their staff and where necessary they should seek legal counsel.

JISCmail users and mailing list owners and managers will find useful information on their responsibilities from a legal perspective by looking at the article entitled “FE/HE Institutions and Liability for Third Party Provided Content” by Gavin Sutter on the JISC Legal Information Service website at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/legal/index.cfm?name=lis_gs_content_regulation - some of which is particularly relevant to their role.