Photo courtesy Joshua Lavar Butler
As reported in Indian Country Today, the laws of the Navajo Nation are now accessible worldwide through the Internet on Westlaw. This accessibility was made possible through the coordinated efforts of the Navajo Nation’s Office of Legislative Counsel and West Publishing, which publishes all 26 titles of the Navajo Nation Code Annotated in a four volume book format, a CD ROM, and through online subscription to www.westlaw.com. The Navajo Nation Code Annotated incorporates all enacted legislation as well as excerpts of all Navajo Nation Supreme Court opinions which may have an impact on the interpretation of provisions of the codes.
A significant challenge for Tribal Law practitioners is the relative lack of electronically-available Tribal Codes and Tribal Court decisions. The Navajo effort serves as a model for providing universal accessibility to Tribal legal authority, and will hopefully lead to increased availability of the Codes and Tribal Court opinions in other jurisdictions.